“Belonging” follows the life of Robbie, the British Home Child in “The Street Arab”who was sent by the Orphan Homes of Scotland to work on Canadian farms. Now he is drawn to the battlefields of the Second World War in North Africa and Italy, working as a medic with his newfound friend, Tiny, a Barnardo’s Home Boy. Meanwhile, his former girlfriend, Annie, has volunteered to go to England and use her nursing skills in the midst of the London Blitz. She meets a wounded Canadian army Captain and considers a different future.
Riveting scenes of fighting in two countries take you into the heart of the battle. You will feel the pain and the courage of war as the Nazis try to destroy the spirit of the English by raining bombs on civilians in London.
And you will experience with Kathy, Robbie’s daughter, how the knowledge of her father’s life story brings her understanding and compassion for the struggles he faced during his life.
This book is a tribute to the author’s father, upon whom this novel is based. Learning about her father’s history as a British Home Child after his death led to the writing of “The Street Arab” and “Belonging”, which aim to inform and explain the lives of the 118,000 children sent to Canada from Britain as indentured farm labourers and domestics. Many went through life, like Ms. Joyce’s father, struggling with their sense of Belonging.