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Fiction featuring Care Experience

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Every Good Deed and Other Stories

Dorothy Whipple


Every Good Deed was originally published in 1944 as a novella and is now included in a collection of short stories published in 2011 by Persephone Books. Two spinster sisters adopt a child from a local orphanage. Susan and Emily Topham are shy and caring. Their cook is a little more worldly-wise, but just barely.
Gwen, the orphan steals, she talks back, she lies. She abuses the sisters and eventually runs away. A case of the sisters believing that if an orphan was cared about, she would in turn care but here nature trumps nurture which is disappointing as it feeds into the negative portrayal of care experience.
To top it all, Gwen’s not even an orphan; her wily mother uses the situation to exact cash from the Topham sisters.
One Good Turn starring Norman Wisdom, a very different story about a hapless handyman who finds his good intentions leading to disaster when he tries to raise money for an orphanage threatened with closure. The film was inspired by Whipple's novella.

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