Outside the Gate
Published by: Barlow Book Publishing
Release Date: September 22, 2022
Inspired by the True Story of a British Child Immigrant, Her Family and Her Legacy
From Scarborough, Yorkshire, to Dr. Barnardo's Village Home for Girls near London and, finally, to a small family farm in rural Ontario, young Winnie went where she was sent and did as she was told, but she refused to abandon her dream.
"Ah'm nut an orphan. When Ah'm eighteen an' free, Ah'm going 'ome to me mam."
Nothing back in England had prepared her for working the rough land in Canada but, despite the long days, isolation and bitterly cold winters, Winnie's natural wit and cheery disposition helped her find love and friendship.
After years of missed opportunities, failed relationships and tragic loss, Winnie carried on with pluck and patience.
"God must of put us in this 'ouse fer a reason. Maybe 'appiness lives 'ere or maybe sorrow. Whichever it is, Ah'll know about it in time."
Realizing her own vulnerability when the old farmhouse seemed about to collapse around her, she began to question her choices. Did she really need a man to support her? Would she always be poor? Could she make a better life for herself and her family? Was it worth the risk?
By middle age Winnie craved companionship, financial independence and less accountability to her bickering children, but her tendency to show favouritism had created problems. Spats turned into battles; then angry words tore the family seams to shreds. Freed from her obligations, she answered to no one. Loved by some but resented by others, Winnie was an enigma; and while the men she knew brought her comfort and tickled her fancy, no one ever owned her.
"An inherited of a box of mementoes sets the author on a path of discovery about her grandmother. Family conflict, tragedy, affairs and mental health issues, all make for a captivating read in Outside The Gate, the moving true story of a troubling time in Canadian history."
—Lori Oschefski, CEO of the British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association
"Shaped by sorrow and secrecy, Newall's interwoven narrative tenderly explores an emotionally complicated family history, including her maternal grandmother's indentured servitude. The past is richly imagined as she reclaims lost lives lovingly, the book itself her own cherished memory box."
—Janet Somerville, author of Yours, for Probably Always: Martha Gellhorn's Letters of Love & War 1930-1949