A stunning book set in the Edwardian era about a seamstress working at Buckingham Palace. Full of drama, betrayal and compelling historical detail, perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Tracy Rees.
It is 1914 and Maria, a shy teenager, is appointed to Buckingham Palace as a seamstress for the royal family.
There, she is lucky enough to meet the Prince of Wales and is soon captivated by his glamour and intensity. But theirs is a doomed love affair and before long Maria’s life takes a tragic turn.
Torn between passion and integrity, she makes a choice that has devastating consequences …
Can a beautiful quilt, discovered many years later reveal the truth behind what happened to Maria?
Praise for Liz Trenow:
‘Extraordinary, fascinating …deeply rooted in history’ Midweek, Radio 4
“Liz Trenow sews together the strands of past and present as delicately as the exquisite stitching on the quilt which forms
the centerpiece of the story.”
‘An assured debut with a page-turning conclusion.’ Daily Express
“An intriguing patchwork of past and present, upstairs
and downstairs, hope and despair.” Daisy Goodwin,
‘A novel about the human spirit – Liz Trenow paints with able prose a picture of the prejudices that bind us and the love that sets us free … Splendid.’ Pam Jenoff, author of The Kommandant’s Girl
‘This absorbing novel delves into the secrets of wartime silk production and makes them totally fascinating … Tremendously atmospheric and convincing in its details, with characters that touch the heart. A book to savour.’ Kate Furnivall, author of The Russian Concubine
About the author
Liz worked for many years as a journalist for national and regional newspapers, and for BBC radio and television news, and is now a full time writer.
An heirloom patchwork quilt hiding a scandalous royal secret is the link between the generations separating an orphaned seamstress and a modern-day single woman, in Trenow's (The Last Telegram) solid second novel. Maria Romano, an inmate at the Helena Hall mental hospital, comes to life through a series of taped conversations from 1970, when she was interviewed by a young research student. Fast forward to 2008, when Caroline Meadows, made redundant at her bank job and recently broken up from her boyfriend of five years, discovers she's pregnant and suddenly becomes curious about the quilt she inherited from her grandmother. The novel pairs the stories of the young women a century apart: Maria, an orphan whose artistic needlework gets her placed in a royal household where she has a dalliance with the Prince of Wales; Caroline, whose own artistic talents and ambitions jump-start her career as an interior designer. Unfortunately, Maria's saga is much more interesting than that of her modern counterpart, who, as the reader discovers through a convoluted plot thread, has more of a connection to Maria than just her grandmother's quilt. But nevertheless, this is a page-turner with eye-opening details about the conditions of mental hospitals in the 20th century, as well as the provenance of royal fabrics, the art of quilting, and the vagaries of modern interior design.