Review: Finding Eadie by Caroline Beecham

Title: Finding Eadie

Author: Caroline Beecham

Published: July 2nd 2020, Allen & Unwin

Status: Read July 2020 courtesy Allen & Unwin

++++++

Finding Eadie is Caroline Beecham’s third engaging historical fiction novel set during the period of World War II in England.

It’s 1943 and much of London’s publishing industry is struggling as the war effort’s strain on resources takes its toll. The staff of Partridge Press however are determined to stay afloat, and are hoping an exciting new book suggested by assistant editor Alice Cotton will prove lucrative, but are shocked when she declines the opportunity to oversee the project and instead tenders her resignation, claiming a pressing family emergency.

Alice can’t reveal her real reason for leaving, she is pregnant, and her devout mother insists Alice give birth in secret elsewhere, returning to London with the child only under the pretence of it belonging to a relative. Eager to raise the baby herself, Alice agrees, but within hours of her daughter’s birth her mother betrays her by handing Eadie over to strangers.

Finding Eadie is largely the story of Alice’s search for her daughter among the city’s unscrupulous baby farmers who sell unwanted infants and toddlers with virtual impunity. Beecham shares the darker side of the trade, which flourished particularly during wartime until the Adoption of Children’ Act was passed in late 1943, though I would have liked for the author to explore this intriguing subject in greater depth.

Alice’s anguish over the fate of her daughter is palpable and I could help but empathise with her. Reluctant to admit to the situation due to the circumstances of the child’s conception, and the general disapproval of unwed mothers, Alice has few persons with which to share her heartbreak, or her mission, though two women prove supportive. Rejoining the staff of Partridge Press is a way for Alice to gain access to information about the baby farmers she would otherwise be unable to, the book project she abandoned offering her some cover.

I enjoyed learning something about the publishing industry in wartime. It was a period during which books were in high demand, but a scarcity of resources made operations difficult, especially for smaller presses. The arrival of Theo Bloom, an employee of Partridge Press’s New York office charged with increasing the profitability of the business, allows Beecham to explore the status of publishing in both the UK and USA during the period.

Theo Bloom also serves to introduce a romantic element into the story when he finds himself attracted to Alice’s sharp mind. The development of the relationship is handled quite sensitively, considering the somewhat awkward circumstances.

Finding Eadie is the sort of light historical fiction, with likeable characters and a pleasing blend of drama and romance, sure to have broad appeal.

++++++

Available from Allen & Unwin RRP AUD$29.99

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mystica
    Jul 17, 2020 @ 09:47:02

    The wartime setting and the publication industry background has created a niche for this story. Which sounds great. Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Marg
    Jul 17, 2020 @ 19:27:57

    I haven’t read this author, but I do like the sound of this book

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Trackback: It’s Monday? What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out

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