A glimpse of new hope for fragile lives

A glimpse of new hope for fragile lives Robert Glover with his extended family - with love enough to spare for hundreds of thousands of orphans. Photo: robertmarkglover.com.
As Many as the Stars: a story of change for the children of China

by Robert Glover with Theodore Brun (Hodder and Stoughton, £16.99)

Author Robert Glover had had an adventurous and varied life: being a submariner when that was a dangerous vocation and then a footballer (before there was money in, one imagines). But then he became a social worker helping in what ways he could for teenagers in Norfolk who had disturbed lives.

However he nourished an early dream of visiting China – who hasn’t? And from this emerged a whole different direction to his life. He and his family of six actually moved to China. He was engaged with the charity Care for Children in Shanghai.


Remarkably he persuaded the authorities that instead of a system of state orphanages – this may now begin to sound familiar – he prompted them to accept a family-based system of fostering and adoption. For every child he wanted there to be a family. The charity is now active not just in China – where they managed to settle a million children (some 85% of the infants in state-run institutions) – but also in Vietnam and Thailand as well.

Readers in Ireland will view this book with interest given our own historical and social backgrounds. Robert Glover tells (with the aid of Theodore Brun) his remarkable story in an uncomplicated and straightforward way. When it so easy to despair of goodness in the world, a book like this gives one hope.