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The Misunderstandings of Charity Brown

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Inspired by award-winning author’s Elizabeth Laird’s own childhood growing up in post-war London, The Misunderstandings of Charity Brown is a classic coming-of-age story, perfect for fans of The Skylarks’ War and I Capture the Castle. Charity Brown’s life is about to change – her family have been left a huge, rambling house by a mysterious benefactor, and her parents want to move in and throw open its doors to the needy. Only recently back from hospital after months of isolation with polio, Charity is over-protected and lonely as the only child still at home.

Her family are very religious – her sisters are called Faith and Hope, and her brother Ted is studying to be a preacher – so she’s both excited and nervous at the thought of sharing her family and new home with strangers. It’s a recipe for confusion, joy and endless misunderstandings, including with the new neighbours, an Austrian family with a daughter just Charity’s age . .

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  1. Nika

    This book is just so lovely and completely unputdownable! Partly based on Elizabeth Laird’s childhood, it tells the story of twelve-year-old Charity Brown and her big family.
    They are members of a small religous group and are living their lives “apart” from the modern world – they don’t go to the cinema, wear make up or do many other things that are completely accepted in wider society. But as Charity grows older and her siblings start moving away from their newly-inherited big house where her faimly looks after “the weary and the heavy laden”, she starts making new friends and discovering her own truths about the world.
    A proper coming-of-age novel, and (I don’t usually say this) a future classic. Suitable for 11+.

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