The captivating Sunday Times bestseller from the author of The Familiars
Two women, bound by a child, and a secret that will change everything . . .
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, Bess is astonished to be told she has already claimed 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's 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 comes this captivating story of mothers and daughters, class and power, and love against the greatest of odds . . .
'The new Hilary Mantel' COSMOPOLITAN
'Stacey Halls is a writer of great originality, great imagination and great sense of place. Atmospheric, intelligent, accessible, every novel is worth reading, then reading again and again' KATE MOSSE
Another gripping, immersive, intelligent work of historical fiction from the bestselling author of The Familiars' KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE, author of THE MERCIES
A moving, atmospheric chiller' INDEPENDENT
'A breathtaking achievement' SUNDAY EXPRESS
'Enjoyable and atmospheric' THE TIMES
'Historical drama at its very best' MY WEEKLY
**MRS ENGLAND: the brand new novel from Stacey Halls is out now**
*Sunday Times bestseller February and September 2020*
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We’re probably still reeling from the twist that transforms Stacey Halls’ beautiful novel halfway through, such was its dramatic impact. It’s an astonishing moment in an outstanding piece of writing that provides marvellous escapism (18th century London has rarely been captured more vividly), potent gender politics and characters drawn with a great deal of pathos and empathy. We meet Bess Bright in 1754 determined to be reunited with the illegitimate daughter she gave into care six years prior. Told that someone claiming to be her has already claimed her, Bess embarks on a desperate and extraordinary mission to discover the truth.
Fell in love instantly....
“The Foundling” is written by Sunday Times bestselling author Stacey Halls and is her second novel, after the success of “The Familiars” last year.
Once again this book is attractively presented with a gorgeous cover and is guaranteed to be a beautiful addition to any bookshelf.
Set in London 1754, this historical drama novel focuses on The Foundling Hospital where mothers took their young babies to hopefully be looked after, until they could return and buy them back. The opening pages really broke my heart and as a mother myself I could truly feel the torment of the young women, waiting to see if their baby would be lucky enough to be accepted. The resulting event after one such unlucky woman was so sad.
Although I didn’t quite get the 18th century feeling, more the 19th, I did find the setting very atmospheric. Billingsgate came alive with the shouts of merchants shouting their varied fish and seafood offerings. I could smell and visualise the muddy pathways that seemed prevalent in every turn of the area, with the traps, carriages and horses that travelled on them.
There was a lot of coincidence that benefited the plot but this didn’t distract me from the enjoyment of the story and I thought the author covered mental health issues like agoraphobia, PTSD and paranoia along with grief exceedingly well. Just showing that these issues did exist many many years ago, even if they weren’t diagnosed correctly.
I fell in love with this book instantly and really enjoyed, I’d be happy to recommend Stacey Halls and her books and I hope to read more by her again in the future.
So poignant and moving
Beautifully written and heart achingly sensitive to each teller of their story. I felt transported to the plight of women in this era.
It was alright
A really excellent start and then started to drop off slightly around the middle. Still worth a read.