When Marjorie’s daughter began exploring archival records involving Britain’s child-migration program, a home-child saga emerged.
Marjorie Arnison was one of the thousands of children removed from their families, communities, and country and placed in a British colony or commonwealth to provide "white stock" and cheap labour. In Marjorie’s case, she was sent to Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School, just north of Victoria, British Columbia, in 1937. As a child, Patricia was angered that her mother wouldn’t talk about the past. It took many years to discover why – it wasn’t because she was keeping a dark secret, but because she had "lost" her childhood.
For 10-year-old Marjorie, forgetting her past, her family, and England was the only survival tool she had at her disposal to enable her to face her frightening and uncertain future. This is Marjorie’s account as told by her daughter. It is a story of fear, loss, courage, survival, and finding one’s way home.
MOST COMPELLING HISTORICAL EYE-OPENER!
No guesswork here. Right from the start, Patricia Skidmore had set the stage for this riveting account of the deception of children and their parents in a horrific scheme that promised them "a better life". Her introduction of Marjorie, her parents and siblings was reinforced early in the novel so that the reader was never in a 'who's-who quandary. Marjorie's freedom as a child ... freedom to explore her own neighbourhood and frolic with other carefree children on the nearby beach was in drastic contrast to the existence that she had been forced to endure as a migrant child. She had been ripped from her loving (albeit poor) family ... and further separated from her sisters and brother who had also suffered the unjust and unconscionable theft of their childhood. Plagued by fear, sadness and anger, she had learned to 'go with the flow', suppressing her emotions to avoid trouble. The inclusion of photographs, footnotes, the historic timeline, and the words of the long-awaited apology of the British Prime Minister had enhanced the story tenfold. "Marjorie Too Afraid to Cry" is one of the most remarkable books I've ever read!