The Orphan List

Ann Bennett

Munich, 1943. My heart breaks as I watch the smug couple carry the tiny bundle into their sinister black limousine. Carefully I write the baby’s name into my secret notebook. No matter the danger, I will do everything I can to reunite him with his mother…

As the darkest shadows of the war spread, nurse Margarete Weiss is sent away to work in a mother and baby home in a beautiful corner of the German countryside. As she approaches the fairy-tale castle with manicured grounds and fair-haired young women laughing in the sunshine, she imagines she will be helping to create a haven for young German mothers to have their children. But when she discovers what is really going on inside the castle walls, she knows she needs to do whatever she can to put a stop to the horror she witnesses, even if it means risking her own life…

Italy, 2005. 90-year-old Margarete sits in her chair in her care home, her hands trembling as she looks into the face of the young reporter, Kristel, sitting in front of her. Kristel’s bright blue eyes and intelligent smile are so familiar, and as Kristel explains she is here to talk to her about the children taken from their mothers during the war, Margarete knows her faded blue notebook with its list of names might hold the answers that Kristel needs.

But as Margarete shares the names with Kristel, her heart beats fast inside her chest. She knows that sharing the truth about those terrible days is the right thing to do, but it also shines a spotlight on her own painful secrets. The notebook will provide Kristel and Margarete with answers… But at what price? And can the two women help each other find the peace they so badly need?

An absolutely heart-breaking and page-turning WW2 novel of one woman’s courage in a time of unimaginable darkness. Fans of The Alice Network, Before We Were Yours and The Nightingale will get lost in the pages of this incredible story.

What everyone is saying about Ann Bennett:

What an amazing read!!! I didn’t expect this to be a roller coaster of emotions, suspense, and mystery but it was everything!!… The characters were amazing, the story will keep you wanting more and more until the end.’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

So captivating, I was on edge while flipping through the pages as fast as I could… Truly heartwarming… Emotional, heartbreaking … I loved this… A must read… Amazing.’ Page Turners, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get those tissues ready, and prepare for some restless nights… This is a real page-turner… A real heart-wrencher… Filled with warm and tender moments and memories… Left me smiling’ NetGalley reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ALL. THE. STARS… You’ll be emotionally wrung out, yet absolutely spellbound… a heartwarming story that’ll have you reaching for your tissues… breathtaking… needs to be on every historical fiction lover’s TBR list.’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oh my word this book was totally brilliant. Right from the first chapter I was drawn in… brilliant… an emotional read so keep the tissues handy.’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Captivated meGripping and heartbreaking… The ending was superb, the light shines through in such a beautiful way! I loved this book!’ Vegan Book Blogger, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐