I've had the great honour recently of being involved in a book launch team. The book is Our Orbit by Anesa Miller and due to be published on June 23rd. I've not done anything like this before and it has been so interesting talking to the author and the team that helped get this book out there. I was given a copy in PDF form to read before publication and was swept away in a great family saga.
Deanne, in Our Orbit, is the homemaker and mother, with a young family, as her husband goes out to work. They would have liked another child, but money is tight, so they decide to foster. I could see similarities with my own family.
My parents also fostered and did so for almost fifty years, so it was interesting to read about Deanne and Rick Fletcher and their foster child.
My Dad had a pressured and important job, just as Rick does in the book. He is a school teacher and acting head with responsibilities for other people. He has to cope with students and staff, and as in real life family situations, his head his full of his work when he comes home to his wife, who has had a difficult day with the children. I could see the comparisons between them and my parents.
Mum and Dad first started fostering in 1964, and they had three children under five. Deanne takes in a child and also supplements their income by dress making. My Mum needed a job when we relocated to a big city from a small town in Shropshire. Dad was in the police and Mum was already trained as a nursery nurse. So Manchester Social Services were very happy to have her on board.
The Winslow family have four children, two boys and two girls. The elder boy is married, the younger boy and older girl, live with different members of their extended family and it is Miriam, the youngest Winslow, that comes to Deanne and Rick. Of course, it isn't all plain sailing as the story moves through the different points of view. Miriam, a child of 9, is very well written by the author and we, the reader, see things from her point of view; things we wouldn't have picked up on in the way a child does.
The view point changes through the younger Winslow children, and through Deanne and Rick each having their own stories and conflicts to tell. It is an instant page turner as we follow the trial and tribulations of the children who also have battles of their own. Deanne and Rick try hard to do the right thing, only what is right, isn't always clear and at times as they doubt themselves.
Raising other people's children is never easy and Deanne and Rick become involved with the rest of the Winslow clan including extended family and their religious beliefs.
The rich story telling of Anesa Miller certainly had me enthralled and at times I felt I was one of the family. I rooted for them, cared for them and at times my heart in my mouth for them.
As for my parents, they gave me a rich upbringing full of stories and we learned how some children are not as fortunate as we were. These days we are hearing about the awful abuse that went on in the 70s and I am so grateful that our upbringing was about love and understanding and with the caring hearts of two special people.