In Awful Kind, Sara Underwood’s approach to writing and the structure of her book is very organized. I appreciate the time spent gathering information and all that was involved in that process.
Being a descendant of British Home Children who settled in other parts of Canada I have been curious about the presence of BHC on, and their connection to, Prince Edward Island, with their history in agriculture. It seemed there was little information on the subject publicly. Sara Underwood saw the need for a book to be written on this as it relates to the Island and Island people.
It is an emotional subject and was astonishing to read of the behavior of the representatives of the Middlemore Home in many cases. Even when, in some cases, they knew the child was in a bad situation in a placement family, they failed to follow up. Children were left to endure many hardships on their own.
I was able to imagine, through her writing of the situations of specific children, how difficult it must have been for them, what it might be like to be isolated and lonely and in some cases, with lack of proper care. I was happy to read of some who were treated well but surely, they should all have had better opportunities. This shows how the BHC immigration scheme might have started with good intentions but grew and became unmanageable. Despite what they endured, as adults they tried their best to contribute to society which helped build our Country, even enlisting to serve Canada with some giving their lives. These children must not be forgotten. - BHC Descendant
Sara does a fantastic job of putting one into the shoes of these children, triggering an emotional response and allowing us to imagine just how life altering this experience must have been on these children. Sara’s book will go a long way in making sure that the stories of the British Home Children secure their chapter in Canada’s collective history.– Guy Lauzon, MP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry and sponsor of Bill M-133, which established British Home Child Day