The Children's Home Review

The Children's Home: A Novel - Charles Lambert

In a sprawling estate, willfully secluded, lives Morgan Fletcher, the disfigured heir to a fortune of mysterious origins.  Morgan spends his days in quiet study, avoiding his reflection in mirrors and the lake at the end f his garden.  One day, two children, Moira and David, appear.  Morgan take them in, giving them free rein of the mansion he shared with his housekeeper, Engel.  Then more children begin to show up. 


Originally it was the description of The Children's Home that pulled me toward the book.  I haven't read anything else my its author, Charles Lambert, but from the synopsis on Goodreads, it seemed right up my alley.  Generally speaking I'm a slower reader.  I rarely read a book a in a day.  Mostly because I get distracted, but that wasn't the cause here.  I started after work and finished it before I left for my shift the next day.  Sleep was the only thing that got in my way.


The Children's Home is a great many things packed into one little book, a sort of mixed bag.  There is the journey you go through with Morgan the disfigured heir, and our main character.  He hasn't seen his face since the accident, and neither has anyone else, except for the housekeeper.  Then there is the sort of supernatural air around the mysterious arrival of all these children.  Why have they come? Where have they come from? What do they want with Morgan?


Charles Lambert did a wonderful job keeping the mystery surrounding the purpose behind the children flowing through the entire book.  There was not a moment where I started to feel bored or that the story lacked.  Each chapter brought something else to the mystery, to the wonder of the children.  Just when you thought maybe you knew what was going on, I didn't.  


This was honestly the reason I swept through this book so quickly, because just like Morgan I needed to know where the children came from.  I wanted to know why they had come. 


The farther into the book the more gruesome things became as I started to see that the children might not be as naive as I, or Morgan and Doctor Crane, originally believed.  In fact even the housekeeper has her secrets.  When one of the children finally tells of who they all are, it is without a doubt heartbreaking.  However, once I found out I was even more interested to know why they chosen to Morgan.  What did he have to do with everything?


Despite how much I did enjoy the book I could only give it three stars for a few reasons.  One of the bigger reason was I would get a little lost in the text.  Occasionally, at least for me, I felt like the narration jumped around.  One minute Morgan would be telling us about an occurrence with one of the children, and the next he's talking to Doctor Crane about else entirely.  A couple of times I had to go back and re-read things to make sure I hadn't skipped pages.  


To be honest it only happened a couple of times and was just small thing. The writing is still beautiful and draws into the story.  Morgan is kind of a pathetic creature, but in a way that pulls you in as well.  A product of the environment in which he was raised.  All of this really over powered the occasional jump in the text. 


The second, and last reason, for three stars is because I'm still not entirely certain what happened.  I mean I know what happened in the book, but I don't understand why it all happened.  Was it because of what the children could do?  Were they harvesting it?  A day later and I still don't have the answers.  Maybe we're suppose to make of it what we each make of it.  A mystery that can never be solved.  Maybe I missed something in the text.  


In the end I enjoyed the book and it's very well written.  The characters were wonderful, even though slightly broken, and some of our questions were answered.  Besides there was a bigger message in the book outside of the magic and the mystery.  It was about learning to love the you, no matter if it was the you that you that you once were.  A everything happens for a reason, and sometimes the monsters are the heroes.  So for all of that 3 stars, because it's a really good book.


I recommend it to anyone who wants to read something a little different.  Something that's kind of a mystery, kind of out finding your courage, and a bit about a revenge.  It's a book that will linger with you for a while.  I found myself talking about it at work to a co-worker last night, and I realized that just because I didn't fully understand the whole of the book, I honestly enjoyed it.