🏆 The Foundling by Stacey Halls ★★★★★
Published :6th February 2020
Publisher : Zaffre Books
Format : Kindle, Paperback, Audio, Hardback, Audio cd
Genre : Historical Fiction
A mother's love knows no bounds . . .
London, 1754. Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London's Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known.
Dreading the worst - that Clara has died in care - the last thing she expects to hear is that her daughter has already been reclaimed - by her.
Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl - and why.
Less than a mile from Bess' lodgings in the city, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, a young widow has not left the house in a decade. When her close friend - an ambitious young doctor at the Foundling Hospital - persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her daughter, she is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life.
But her past is threatening to catch up with her and tear her carefully constructed world apart.
Two women , bound by a child, and a secret that will change everything. . .
Move over my top slot book, this one has taken your place!!!
Thank you so much Zaffre and Compulsive Readers for this fantastic blog tour spot and also for this absolutely beautiful proof copy of the book.
I honestly do not know where to start. I loved this story so much I was completely captivated by it, my favourite kind of books are all set around the victorian era and this one is based in Georgian London has been by far the best one yet.
Set over Four parts, the first is with Bess.
Bess was my favourite character by far, having found herself pregnant after a very brief fling with a merchant seller, a single woman who lives with her father and brother, working all hours selling shrimp at Billingsgate market Bess has no choice but to give her newly born baby daughter up to The Foundling hospital as she can not afford to not work or feed her.
She leaves behind the required personal token so she has proof that she is her daughter for when she comes back to get her and as she leaves all she has is the number 627 to remember as her little girls identity and the doubt of how much the fee will be when the time comes to claim her back.
Fast forward six years and Bess has saved every day until finally she has enough money she thinks to bring her home.
But when she gets there she is told that baby 627 was collected the very next day by the mother?
Distraught, Bess leaves the hospital and the story then goes onto part two, which is where we meet Alexandra.
Alexandra is a widow who lives in a posh part of London with her little girl Charlotte.
Alexandras character is extremely broken. Having witnessed her parents brutal murder as a young girl her mind is completely fractured and she suffers anxiety issues and refuses to leave the house unless extremely necessary and has an obsession with doors and windows being locked at all times for fear of having masked gunmen that will come back and finish what they started all those years ago, adamant that they made a mistake leaving her alive.
Her heart is in the right place, all she wants to do is keep herself and her child safe, but intentionally she is also keeping her self and her daughter basically prisoner for fear of the outside world.
During a rare visit from her friend Dr Mead, he suggests Alexandra helps a lady he knows who has had a rough time, Eliza is introduced to Alexandra to become a nursemaid to her daughter Charlotte and the three end up living under one roof practically night and day with Eliza and Charlotte becoming inseparable and Alexandra forever feeling the odd one out.
I do not want to say any more details about the story as I would hate to ruin it for anyone else, but needless to say at the end of part two I literally gasped out loud!
The way this book is written really captures you and makes you feel drawn into 1754 London, with its poverty and wealth divides and the way everything is described, you can't help but get completely lost within the pages.
Every character jumped out of the page and I did not have one moment where I felt the book lagged, if anything I was dreading it being all over, no longer being able to lose myself within the pages.
I loved how the story came to an end and I can not wait for it to be on the big screen!!
Stacey Halls is now one of my top favourite authors, the kind where you buy the latest book purely because its written by that author without even looking at the blurb.
Meet the author...
Stacey Halls grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire, as the daughter of market traders. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and moved to London aged 21.
She was media editor at The Bookseller and books editor at Stylist.co.uk, and has also worked as a journalist for Psychologies, the Independent and Fabulous magazine.
TV rights of The Familiars shave been sold to The Bureau production company. Bought in a nine-way auction, The Familiars was received with much praise and is nominated for an HWA award.
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