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Voices from the Past: The Baby -bookcover

By: Elizabeth Uywin

Voices from the Past: The Baby

Pages: 218 Ratings: 5.0
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Wars, depressions and political turmoils have often tested and even destroyed many families throughout history. In the difficult years which ensued between both World Wars, London’s inhabitants were no exception. This is a story of one such family. A family named Cole, who actually lived in the 1930s. They faced several hardships, yet when Percy Cole, a Stevedore at St Katharine Docks, met with a life-changing accident, Jackie, his wife, had to use all her cunning to save the family from the poor house.With five children to feed, Mary, their youngest child, had to enter Reedham orphanage, being closely followed by her brother Roy, where they too fought their own separate battles with an alien establishment.On the death of Percy, Walter Cole, the wealthy yet estranged father-in-law, tried to blackmail Jackie. When poverty gripped even harder, he finally offered her a lifeline, a lifeline with strings attached. Dare she trust him, or should she walk away...


Elizabeth Uywin was born in Braintree to a farming family in 1951. Most of her childhood memories are of helping her father on the farm, until her family moved to London to be near her Grandmother.

She worked as a secretary to the Chief News Editor of the Press Association and in the court service for many years. This is her first book of three which follows the life of one particular child called Mary, which has been researched over a period of thirty years. Elizabeth Uywin is widowed and lives in Chiswick.

Customer Reviews
1 reviews
1 reviews
  • Julia Wilson

    Voices From The Past - The Baby by Elizabeth Uywin is a powerful and heart-wrenching tale based on the real-life of Mary Cole born in the East End of London in 1924. It is the first of a trilogy.
    The reader instinctively likes Mary Cole. We meet her as she emerges from the womb. She almost seems like an invisible baby to all but her brother Roy (whom she calls Roysty) and he adores her. Their bond is beautiful. Your heart will swell as you witness their love, and there are times when your heart will break too.
    The Cole family lives in poverty. Love was chosen over the inheritance. What they lack in wealth, they more than makeup in love. It is this love that reaches from the pages of the book to envelop the reader.
    God is at the heart of lives. “Thank you, he whispered to his ever hearing, ever listening to God.” It is not uncommon for the vicar to just drop in on the family… although it seems as much for a high tea as for spiritual welfare.
    There is much loss in the novel including that of grief. “I’ve got to keep working… if I stop, I think, and when I think, I cry.” The pain radiates outwards. Your heart will break for the characters.
    To lose the male breadwinner in the 1920s is to fling a family into poverty. The workhouse beckons. People will do all that they can to avoid it including giving away children to orphanages in the blind hope that they will receive an education and this will be what is best for them. Strong emotional bonds leave characters in torment.
    Reedham Orphanage, whilst it does have some kind souls, also has immense cruelty. It reminded me very much of Lowood in Jane Eyre. Punishments given absolutely broke my heart and tore my emotions to shreds as I longed to scoop up the children and just love them. Elizabeth Uywin writes powerfully, ensuring that I am emotionally invested at all times.
    Voices From The Past – The Baby is such a powerful read. It’s on to book two for me now. I really loved the inclusion of photos so I could see just what Mary Cole looked like.
    I shall leave you with my favourite quote:
    “Just because God’s servant can’t help you… doesn’t mean that God Himself is unable to. It’s at times like these that we need our faith.” Never judge God by man’s behaviour.
    I received a free copy from Austin Macauley publishers. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.

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