This is a story of family, love and loss in nineteenth-century Glasgow, but ultimately it is one of hope. The novel tells the story of 8 year-old Jane, daughter of poor incomers to Glasgow in search of a better life. Orphaned, Jane is put in the care of a Children's Home. She still has siblings, and we learn of their struggles with poverty; their trauma at separation; Jane's experiences in care and the different paths her siblings were forced to follow. Caught up in the drastic measures taken by well-meaning philanthropists to tackle child destitution, Jane's life changes forever, compelling the reader to question the rights and wrongs of nineteenth-century Christian charity.
Publisher: Albion Publications
Number of pages: 181
Weight: 300 g
Dimensions: 210 x 145 x 12 mm
By writing the story of one individual's involvement, Annette McGarill has transformed the statistics of nineteenth-century Children's Homes into a novel which gives a real understanding of the deprivations of the time and shows the reasons why children like Jane, the main protagonist, were taken into care. Through the telling of Jane's story, insight is given into the practices of the Homes and we see how, although they were ostensibly run for the benefit of the children, they were sometimes detrimental in depriving them of any contact with their family once they entered a Home. A major, misguided practice was the mass transportation system that took children away from their homeland. The reader is on the journey with Jane all the way. Ann MacKinnon (Poet); 'Seek and Ye Shall Find Me' is a serious study of Orphans' Homes for Children in late nineteenth-century Glasgow. Without directly criticising a system which set out to save poor children from the streets via Christian charity, McGarill succeeds in revealing errors in the philosophy behind it, particularly with regard to the compulsory emigration of thousands of children to Canada and elsewhere. This continued well into the twentieth century. Mary Edward (Author of 'Who Belongs to Glasgow)