The Foundling by Stacey Halls
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, she is astonished when she is 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 . . .
Stacey Halls has done it again....another stunning story that I couldn't get enough of. Her writing has this wonderful way of picking you up and transporting you back in time. I could vividly feel each and every moment. Smells and sights came alive on the pages before my eyes and I felt steadfast in London of 1754 and what a time that was to. The narrative captured this moment of history in real vivid glory and Stacey's extraordinary way of bringing the past to life added something special to this heartfelt story.
A mother's love knows no bounds and boy did this story portray that in spades. Bess's plight was heartbreaking and desperation was the driving force behind her narrative. As far as characters go she was exceptional and I found I couldn't put the book down as the pages turned themselves to get to those all important answers at the end. But let us not forget Alexandra Callard here....what a complex and confusing character to say the least. She had me baffled, angry, moved and finally brought round to acceptance by the end but I loved this range of emotions brought out by one character. Stacey certainly knows how to fully form a world of the past and each and every character added something of importance to this story.
Having never heard of The Foundling I was gripped with this element and found it tragic and moving beyond measure. The research eased its way nearly into the storyline to elevate and educate the reader of these heartbreaking glimpses of the past. All in all this book was moving and magical in turn. Well done Stacey on yet another superb story. I'm a huge fan.
Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for letting me take part in this fabulous blog tour.
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About the author...
Stacey Halls was born in 1989 and grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and has written for publications including the Guardian, Stylist, Psychologies, The Independent, The Sun and Fabulous. Her first book The Familiars was the bestselling debut novel of 2019. The Foundling is her second novel.