Secrets and scandals steer a young woman’s life as she comes of age and finds love in Victorian England.
Seventeen-year-old Molly Gibson has grown up under the watchful eye of her widowed father, the doctor Mr. Gibson. After one of his apprentices develops an interest in Molly, Mr. Gibson feels the only way to protect her is to send her to live with the Hamley family.
With his daughter away, Gibson decides to remarry, giving Molly a new mother and sister. Although her stepmother is manipulative, Molly gains an ally in her stepsister, Cynthia, who is educated, worldly, and irresistible to just about any man she meets.
Growing closer to the Hamleys and her new stepsister, Molly also finds herself mired in their scandals—and the town’s gossip. If she hopes to set things right, she must risk her own reputation, as well as the man she secretly loves.
By the author of Mary Barton and North and South, this is a story of love, family, and the challenges of both, as relevant today as it was in the nineteenth century.