Book Review | The Orphan Thief by Glynis Peters


AUTHOR: Glynis Peters

PUBLISHER: One More Chapter/Harper Collins

RELEASE DATE: November 28, 2019

GENRE: Fiction, Historical Fiction


From the international bestselling author of The Secret Orphan

When all seems lost…

As Hitler’s bombs rain down on a battered and beleaguered Britain, Ruby Shadwell is dealt the most devastating blow – her entire family lost during the Coventry Blitz.

Hope still survives…

Alone and with the city in chaos, Ruby is determined to survive this war and rebuild her life.  And a chance encounter with street urchin Tommy gives Ruby just the chance she needs…

And love will overcome.

Because Tommy brings with him Canadian Sergeant Jean-Paul Clayton.  Jean-Paul is drawn to Ruby and wants to help her, but Ruby cannot bear another loss.  Can love bloom amidst the ruins?  Or will the war take Ruby’s last chance at happiness too? (Description from


(***Please note that this review may contain spoilers***) 

When I first saw the cover and title of The Orphan Thief I thought it would be more about a girl helping orphan’s during the war. But it’s actually centered around a teenage girl named Ruby Shadwell going through her daily life after her city was bombed in the Blitz.

The very beginning of the book was very good. I could feel the intense loss that Ruby was feeling when her entire family was killed by a bomb that hit their home. I could feel the shock she felt as she looked into the crater where her home once stood.

Then the book went into the daily life of Ruby and how she was rebuilding her life literally from the rumble of her home town. She started rebuilding her life by finding, fixing, and selling lost items found throughout the city, but would also try and find its original owners. Ruby was helping the town get on its feet again with her business. I thought this was a very admirable quality for a teenager during a horrific war.

I did feel that the life re-building part of the book was way too long and, in all honesty, I was getting bored until about 50% in when a character named Earl was introduced. Earl was an evil character who was harassing Ruby and was keeping small orphaned children locked away. He forced these children to steal for him. When he was introduced then the title made sense but he wasn’t in the book for very long, only a few chapters.

There was a love interest of Ruby as well. Jean-Paul Clayton, who was a military photographer for the Canadian army. He was occasionally in the book and I felt like he needed to be more prominent based on how “in love” Ruby was with him and the fact that they ended up engaged and had children. I just couldn’t see why they fell in love in the first place.

There were other characters in the book, but it was really just about Ruby and her daily life. Overall, there were parts of the book I really enjoyed, but I felt it needed a lot more about Earl and an orphan named Tommy for the title to make sense. I think it also needed more of Ruby and Jean-Paul if the end goal was for them to be together after the war.




Glynis Peters, lives in Dovercourt, Essex, England. She married her school sweetheart in 1979, and they have three children. They also have three grandchildren, with another due in the spring of 2019, the year of their ruby wedding Anniversary.

In 2014, Glynis was short-listed for the Festival of Romantic Fiction New Talent Award.

In 2018, HarperCollins/HarperImpulse published her novel, The Secret Orphan. The novel rose to several bestseller positions within a few months of release.

When Glynis is not writing she enjoys fishing with her husband, making greetings cards, cross stitch and the company of her granddaughters.

Her grandson lives in Canada, and it is for that reason she  introduced a Canadian pilot into The Secret Orphan. (Description from her website)

Thank you to One More Chapter/Harper Collins and NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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