Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Random Things Tours

The Paper Bracelet by Rachael English


Every baby’s bracelet held a mother’s secret…For almost fifty years, Katie has kept a box of secrets.

It dates from her time working as a nurse in a west of Ireland mother and baby home, and contains a notebook with details of the babies and young women she met there. It also holds many of the babies’ identity bracelets.

Following the death of her husband, Katie makes a decision she has long kept at bay. She posts a message on an internet forum, knowing that the information she possesses could help reunite adopted people with their birth mothers.

Soon, the replies are rolling in, and Katie encounters success, failure, heartache and joy as she finds herself in the role of part-detective, part-counsellor – chasing down leads, piecing together stories, and returning many of the bracelets to their original owners.

But there is one bracelet in the box that holds the key to a story that may never be told …


This moving story is unbelievably heartbreaking and filled with hope. 

The Paper Bracelet is told in the past and the present from various points of view including the unfortunate and discarded single mothers at Carrigbrack, a home for unwed mothers, and the lost and unsuspecting adopted children. Though the story starts slow, the reader is pulled into an unthinkable period in history where young girls’ rights are non-existent, babies disappear without warning, and women are forced into manual labor up to the day they are due. Not to mention, the records of each of the residents are conveniently lost over the years. 

Katie is a nurse who worked at Carrigbrack in the early ’70s and unbeknownst to the nuns there, she kept several babies’ bracelets to prove they existed. In present time after her husband dies, she is determined to reunite the mothers and adopted children for personal reasons of her own. Katie’s quiet and serene determination to help is noble and inspiring. And though it took her years to do it, her own painful secret threatens to change her life forever. Beth is a great help to her aunt and a straight forward voice of reason. In addition, the supporting characters of Gary, Chrissie, Ailish, and others are well-developed and bring hope to Katie’s goal of finding closure for so many.

This unforgettable fictional story based on historical facts is extremely emotional and I found myself having to put the book down to compose myself.  I guarantee you will find yourself rooting for the characters and hoping for a happy ending.  Recommend highly!

Thank you to Ms. English for giving me the opportunity to read the book with no expectation of a positive review.


The Paper Bracelet Cover

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Rachael English Rachael English is a bestselling novelist and presenter on Ireland’s most popular radio show, Morning Ireland. During more than twenty years as a journalist, she has worked on most of RTÉ Radio’s leading current affairs programmes, covering a huge range of national and international stories.

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Paper Bracelet BT Poster