"Brilliant" - THE FORSAKEN CHILDREN by Naomi Finley - Excerpt

"All-in-all, The Forsaken Children was a heart-wrenching, soul-rending, tragic story that needed to be told of all the “forgotten children” of several generations. Ms. Finley was brilliant in her depictions and descriptions. " —Novels Alive


The Forsaken Children

A riveting tale of endurance and resilience, illustrating the spirit of a child and the bond between siblings.

It’s 1921. Fifteen-year-old Hazel Winters and her six-year-old brother, William, are placed on a ship by an organization that relocates British orphans and children of poverty to new homes in Canada. Arrivals in the new land are exported to distributing houses, where devastation and heartache greet the youngsters as headmistresses govern their fate.

The assurance of a better life across the ocean is far from what Hazel experiences. Through hardships and loneliness, she is determined to survive. Finding refuge in memories of the past, she clings to the dream of returning to her homeland while preserving a reunion in her heart.

In 1890, orphaned Charlotte Appleton and her sister Ellie were scooped up from London’s streets and sent to new homes across the ocean. Although mere miles kept them apart, Charlotte never knew her sister’s whereabouts until a chance interaction reunites them. Together the siblings vow to make a difference for the families and home children of an institution in Toronto, Ontario.

Can an unexpected guardian give Hazel renewed strength and resolve for a future of promise?

Based on the child emigration movement that occurred from 1869 through the late 1930s, this poignant tale follows the lives of siblings who were burdensome byproducts of Britain's poverty.


Enjoy an Excerpt from

The Forsaken Children

Inside her office, Miss King gestured to the chair in front of the desk before circling to seat herself. She peered across the desk at Colleen, who sat with her hands clasped tightly in the folds of her stained blue dress. “It saddens me to inform you that your children are no longer here,” Miss King said.

“Not here? What do you mean?” Heart racing at the news, Colleen scooted to the edge of her chair.

“We expected you weeks ago. The agreement was a few weeks, and from the records, I can see it’s been over a month. We aren’t a boarding house.”

“But if not here, where are they?” Tears collected in her throat.

“I suppose they are comfortable and enjoying the luxuries of their new homes.”

“New homes? But—”

“Mrs. Winters, you are a widow without means to care for your children; it’s our duty to help get children off the street.”

“But orphans. My children aren’t orphans.”

“No, but you abandoned them and in the eyes of the government that makes them orphans. Don’t you wish a better life for them, where—”

Colleen jumped to her feet. “Their life is with me. I’m their mother. No one will love them as I will.” Limbs trembling, she pressed her palms against the desktop to steady herself before narrowing her eyes at Miss King. “Tell me where my children are. Tell me now!” Her voice resounded throughout the small office.

Miss King rose, towering over her. “Calm yourself, or I will have you removed without the answers you seek.”

Colleen heaved a sigh, fighting back the tears. “Where are they?” Her voice hitched. “Please, I beg you, tell me.”

“I suppose they would have landed in Canada by now.”

A rift opened in her heart. Her voice barely a whisper, she said, “Canada?”

“That’s right. The children will be awarded to new families.”

“It can’t be. I am their mother. I promised them. I…” The room spun, and Miss King and everything around her receded. Legs buckling, she plunged into a sea of darkness.

End of Excerpt

Excerpt Copyright ©Naomi Finley. Shared with permission.


The Author

Author Naomi Finley

Naomi Finley is an award-winning author living in Northern Alberta. She loves to travel and her suitcase is always on standby awaiting her next adventure. Naomi’s affinity for the Deep South and its history was cultivated during her childhood living in a Tennessee plantation house with six sisters. Her fascination with history and the resiliency of the human spirit to overcome obstacles are major inspirations for her writing and she is passionately devoted to creativity. In addition to writing fiction, her interests include interior design, cooking new recipes, and hosting dinner parties. Naomi is married to her high school sweetheart and she has two teenage children and two dogs named Egypt and Persia.

For more information, please visit Naomi Finley’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.


Genre: Historical Fiction

Type: Novel

Publisher: Huntson Press

Publication Date: April 13, 2021

Series: The British Home Children, book 1

Content Rating: PG

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Tour Giveaway

Enter to win a mystery box of goodies + a copy of The Forsaken Children by Naomi Finley!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 23, 2021. You must be 18 or older to enter. Void where prohibited by law. This giveaway is sponsored by the author and hosted by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

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