• What Child Is This

  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Gemma Dawson
  • Length: 1 hr and 26 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (1,412 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Christmas during World War II is a time for small miracles in this bittersweet short story by the New York Times best-selling author of The Tuscan Child and In Farleigh Field.  

Jack and Maggie Harris are adrift on ravaged streets during the London Blitz. Their home is gone. They have nowhere to go and nothing left to lose. With only the memories of their greatest loss - the death of their child during a Christmas years before - Jack and Maggie settle in a seemingly deserted mansion for the night.  

Inside they find shelter, warmth, and a bit of cheer. They also discover a surprise. Now, in the darkest of times, the unexpected compassion of strangers will make this Christmas one to remember forever.

©2018 Janet Quin-Harkin, writing as Rhys Bowen (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about What Child Is This

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A lovely Christmas story!

This is a wonderful short story about Christmas in England during World War II. I was enjoying it so much, I wish the author would add a few more chapters, and perhaps turn it into a full-size book.

10 people found this helpful

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Too short

My only issue with the book is it was too short. I want to know what happens after this.

7 people found this helpful

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A story of hope

Well written as expected. Maggie and Jack have lost their little girl during a harsh winter in London during WWII. A series of disasters on Christmas Eve leaves them homeless and sitting on a bench in Hyde Park. The rest makes for a warm Christmas tale that should be listened to around a fire in December 24th

7 people found this helpful

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Very short but very heartwarming!

I love everything I’ve listened to that Rhys Bowen’s written. The characters in her stories are struggling during the war but never let themselves be beaten down. I love how people from different classes come together to help each other out. This story was the shortest I’ve listened to but still every bit as good as the others.

6 people found this helpful

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Great story!

Loved the story, this is an excellent novel. The narrator does an excellent job of bringing the novel to life! It ends way to soon though!

6 people found this helpful

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Too short!

Great story but ended abruptly. Didn’t realize this was so short when I purchased. Please develop storyline further. I was really enjoying it!

4 people found this helpful

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An easy listen

A sweet side of the impact of war? A simple plot with a bit sugary surroundings. Won’t tax your brain.

2 people found this helpful

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Talk about a tear jerker

The story was too sad. Sure a Christmas miracle, but what about after. Peter's family was fine. The rich usually are. But what about that poor young couple who have nothing? We forget what hell the people close to that horrible war went through. Broke my heart.

2 people found this helpful

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Simple story

This was just not good. It sounded like something a high school freshman wrote for a class

2 people found this helpful

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HOLY TOLEDO

Two of the most unsympathetic protagonists ever. And an unsatisfying ending.
However, it was written very well and the narrator was spot on.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Andrea Spencer
  • Andrea Spencer
  • 07-30-21

Wonderfull

Beautifuly written, and wonderfully read.
I loved every minute of this audio book. My only issue was that it was too short

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • jan maclean
  • 08-09-22

Okay

I should have noticed this was a short story and contains only three chapters. I thought it was overpriced for what it was and it didn’t really have much of a storyline. My fault for having not noticed it was a short story but I have read and enjoyed other books by this author and just thought it was more of the same. All in all I was very disappointed.

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  • mrs c s cowey
  • 06-12-22

needs more

I like a start middle and end. this book as a good start but the middle and end are missing. not impressed

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ManhattanMoma
  • 05-29-22

Short, sweet, feel good story

Short but sweet story and very well narrated. It gave a snapshot of life during the Second World War bombings in London. Enjoyed listening to this and would recommend.

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  • JACQUI
  • 05-08-22

miracles happen

lovely Christmas story
Happy encouraging..
follow your nose, go where you fee you need to go.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Linda Brown
  • Linda Brown
  • 04-08-22

A short sweet war time story!

After losing their own child to death, then finding another brings love and healing!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for P. Clancy
  • P. Clancy
  • 03-15-22

short story but worth a listen

short story but worth a listen sad how things go expecially whats going on today in the world

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for S. M. Sinclair
  • S. M. Sinclair
  • 02-18-22

Lovely Short Story

A rather sweet short story, narrated well.
it was a very enjoyable listen. And, as it was included in my membership, a sweet short story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-01-22

Too short and poses questions

Good story the author could write a fuller version of this quite easily. It would be good to have a follow up as I’m wanting to know more

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Profile Image for Sigrin
  • Sigrin
  • 12-16-21

Heart warming short story


Very twee, lots of clichés….. but overall it was a lovely story with nice well rounded characters.


Really nicely read by Gemma Dawson.