The Orphan

A woman is found unconscious in the street with a severe head wound; she is also pregnant.
The woman gives birth to a son but later dies- her dying words was the Name Robin McNally- Police sergeant Bob Cole is out to get McNally a petty thief for murder but he manages to get off in court. The grand parents of the woman bring up the boy as their own. Jackie Boyle has an unusual talent- he has the ability to remember everything he see's. he can read a book in minutes and remember every word. Jackie watches his Grand Mother who he calls mam cooking and when she dies of a stroke is forced to cook and clean so that his father who is really his Grandfather; can go to work down the pit at Battlehill Colliery. The five year old does this until his father is killed in the pit rescuing his friends- Jackie is sent to Oakridge Children's Home where he suffered at the hands of the Matron and the nuns strict regime. The Orphan is a fast paced story that will leave you wanting to read more.


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Sitting by the fire side Billy explained about the book to Jackie he told him that the book set in the 18th century was about the Jacobite rebellion after the “Appin murder” in 1752. Many of the characters in the story were real people; Alan Breck Stewart and David Balfour are real and they are the main characters. David is set up by his uncle Ebenezer who tries to steal his inheritance after the death of his parents. David is Kidnapped and cast away on an island. This is the story of his sufferings on a desert island then his journey back to the wild highlands of Scotland.

“Wow! Can I read it now?

“Yes if you get washed and put on your pyjamas.”

“Jackie ran to the bathroom then got him self washed. Then he brushed his teeth with some Colgate Toothpaste he gazed into the mirror hoping to see the ring of confidence.

Then ran into the bedroom and put on his bed clothes.

“I’m ready dad he shouted.

“His father brought the book and was about to read it to him but Jackie asked if he could read it himself.

“Alright; you can but not too long okay?

His father stroked his hair then kissed him on the top of his head before closing the door. Jackie flicked through the pages and was captivated. When the story was read he turned out the light and went to sleep.

Billy sponged out the washing then hung them up on the line then he put away the plates on the draining board. The soup that Jackie had made would do their dinner tomorrow. He made him self a cheese sandwich to take for his bait in the morning then sat by the fire with a new book that he was reading. He opened the first page of the “Caine Mutiny” by Herman Wouk and began to read he got about seventy pages before sleep got the better of him.


He awoke feeling cold as the fire had died he looked at the clock and it was twenty past four in the morning. He didn’t bother going to bed because he would be up for work in another hour anyway. He put more coal on the fire and placed a shovel and some newspaper over it until it began to roar. The paper fumes caught his nose as he removed it before it caught fire.

Then he made himself a flask of tea. He cut two slices of bread then made a note for Jackie with a few provisions that he could get when he finished school.

Billy went through his ritual of toilet, shave, wash, and cleaning his teeth before putting on a clean work shirt and trousers. He reset his alarm clock for Jackie then placed it on the bedside table before quietly slipping out to walk the four or so miles to work.


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