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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The alarm rang in Jackie’s bedroom; he brushed the sleep from his eyes then got up and went to the toilet.

He held onto the waste pipe as he stood up then pulled the chain which flushed the toilet. He returned to his bedroom and put on his school clothes. Then he buttered the bread that his father had cut for him and spread some Robertson’s mixed fruit jam on top. Jackie looked outside to see the first snow of December; it was deep he would have to go out and clear the path before school. At the back of the house that led onto St Josephs Church School the trees were now bare the autumn leaves had all dropped off the sycamores that surrounded the grounds.

Jackie put on his wellingtons then went outside. The bitter cold hit him straight away and chilled him to the bone. Within five minutes of shovelling his hot breath came out of his mouth like a steam train. His hands and feet were freezing but he pushed the shovel under the snow and it broke away in large cake like lumps. When he had finished Jackie came back inside. The kettle was now boiling and he made some tea for himself.

He ate his jam sandwich then put on his Duffle coat hat and gloves then closed the door. He went to Mrs Backhouse’s room and asked if he could borrow another book to read.

“Have you read The Count of Monte Cristo?

“No; but I read kidnapped last night that was good.”

“Well you will enjoy this one here take it into hall there is a table and a chair in there for you. “ I will see you at lunch in the dining hall; your father will have to fill out a form so that you can get free dinners. “You can take it home with you tonight.”

Thank you Mrs Backhouse

“Now off you go and read your book.”

Jackie sat in the hall and opened the book and began to read. The story told of Edmund Dante’s a merchant sailor who is wrongfully imprisoned being a spy. The letter that he brought to Caderousse whose own father is a Bonapartist is worried if the letter should fall into wrong hands it would not only destroy his reputation but that of his father as a staunch Royalist. He has Dante imprisoned without trial for life. After seven years he is befriended by Abbe Faria (the mad priest) who tries to escape by tunnelling which takes him some seven years but ends up in Dante’s cell instead of his freedom. Faria educates Dante’s and tells him of a treasure buried on the island of Monte Cristo. Faria knows that he is dying and gives Dante’s the Map showing where the treasure is buried. Faria dies and Dante’s climbs into the burial sack left for Faria. First he moves the priest into his cell. The guards throw the body over a cliff into the sea and Dante’s escapes. He joins some smugglers then feigns injury in order to be left on the Island by the smugglers who think he is going to die anyway.

Dante’s finds the treasure and then takes a yacht and sails to Marseilles and seeks revenge on the three men who had him imprisoned.

Dante’s buys the Island and takes the name of The Count of Monte Cristo.

His education from Faria serves him well when he wreaks havoc on all the men who wronged him and killed his father; who was also imprisoned and dies of starvation.

Dante’s becomes a rich man and marries and sails off to a better life.



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