Only a generation or two ago, illegitimacy was one of the most shameful things that could happen in a family.
In the Family Way tells secrets kept for entire lifetimes: long-silent voices from the workhouse, the Magdalene Laundry or the distant mother-and-baby home. Anonymous childhoods are recalled, spent in the care of Dr Barnardo or a Child Migration scheme halfway across the world.
There are sorrowful stories in this book, but it is also about hope: about supportive families who welcomed 'love-children' home, or those who were parted and are now reconciled. Most of all, In the Family Way is about finally telling the truth.
Jane Robinson was born in Edinburgh, brought up in North Yorkshire and read English at Somerville College, Oxford. In the Family Way is her ninth book, and like her previous work, including the acclaimed Bluestockings (25,000 TCM) and A Force to Be Reckoned With: A History of the Women's Institute (8,000 TCM), it confirms her as one of our most engaging and original social historians. Jane lives near Oxford with her husband and two sons.