The Foundling by Stacey Halls
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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.
From the bestselling author of The Familiars, and set against the vibrant backdrop of Georgian London, The Foundling explores families, secrets, class, equality, power and the meaning of motherhood
I have a confession – I still haven’t read The Familiars by Stacey Halls (it is on my Kindle ready to go).
However after seeing great reviews and reading the opening chapters of The Foundling, I decided to use my Readers First points to ‘buy’ a copy of this book. The hardback book is beautiful to look at – a stunning cover design.
The story is based on the true Foundling Hospital in London, set up to help children who had parents unable to care for them. From the opening chapter, when a young woman asks to give up her baby born just hours earlier, we are transported back in time to 1747 to watch the baby lottery.
The descriptions of Georgian London are of two different worlds – the rich and the very poor. The story is told from the view of both main characters and we are slowly drip fed information to help explain what happened after the visit to the Foundling Hospital.
I’m happy to recommend the book – one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read. Thank you to Readers First and Manilla Press for my copy.
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