Inspector George Gently: The Lost Child
Sunday 9 September
It's 1968 and the Abortion Act of 1967 is yet to be implemented. The number of pre-marital pregnancies has rocketed since the end of the war and the number of babies being adopted peaks at 28,000.
The shame of illegitimacy still burns the cheeks of single mothers and their families who often force their unmarried daughters into ‘Mother and Baby homes’ to conceal their dirty secret. Here, the emphasis is placed on getting the babies adopted into married homes whilst providing a moral education for these fallen women.
For some girls it offers an opportunity to return to their old lives uninterrupted, hopes and dreams intact. For others, the pain of having to give up their child is unbearable; their suffering is a life sentence, and for the childless couples who have long yearned for a baby, it offers them the opportunity to finally become a ‘proper’ family.
Inspector George Gently and his sergeant, John Bacchus, are given an insight into the complexities of this emotionally-wrought world when the adopted child of a middle-class couple is kidnapped.
Suspicion initially falls upon the natural mother – did she ‘steal’ her own baby back? But investigations into the Mother and Baby home itself reveals a much darker side to this hothouse of morality and raises questions as to how far this seemingly perfect couple is prepared to go to get a child.
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