I love how books find me. I have been eye balling the book The Foundling on Amazon for months now as well as The Familiars but I just haven’t decided to pull the trigger yet.
The covers are gorgeous and the premise for each book sounds excellent, but I have been trying to be good and not buy so many new books so I decided to hold off on purchasing The Foundling.
Flash forward to March when I was asked to review The Lost Orphan by Stacey Halls. I thought it sounded interesting and said yes, all the while I kept my eye on The Founding oh so longingly. When it came time for me to pick up this book to start reading, the only book that kept coming up was The Foundling. Come to find out the books are one in the same! The Foundling in the UK and The Lost Orphan in the US. I was even more excited to read this book after discovering that I had been longingly eye balling it for months!
A mother’s love knows no bounds…
London, 1754. Six years after leaving her newborn, Clara, at London’s Foundling Hospital, young Bess Bright returns to reclaim the illegitimate daughter she has never really 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. 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 a quiet town house, a wealthy widow barely ventures outside. When her close friend—an ambitious doctor at the Foundling Hospital—persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her young 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 will soon tear her carefully constructed world apart.
Set against the vibrant backdrop of Georgian London, The Lost Orphan explores families and secrets, class and power, and how the pull of motherhood cuts across them all. (summary from Goodreads)
What a marvelous read but I must say that I love the UK cover much better than the US one. The US one just doesn’t stand out in the same way as the UK one but obviously that has no bearing on the actual book itself. I was so intrigued by this author’s writing style, concept, and historical period that I was not at all dissuaded by the difference in covers.
The writing style reminded me a little of Diane Setterfield, Halls’ prose felt full of mystique and had a haunting quality about it that I often associate with Setterfield which is probably why I made the connection between the two. Plus the UK cover reminded me of something Setterfield might have for one of her books as well so maybe that was what I went into this one expecting. As this is my first experience with Halls, I can’t speak to her other book The Familiarsm but I’ve heard that it has more magic and witchcraft in it where as this book is more of a conventional historical fiction novel. Either way I was totally entranced by this story and loved it just as much as I was anticipating!
I loved how Hall wrote about a less popular time in history. So many books stick to what they know or what’s considered popular or even easy—-Regency or Victorian. But with this book Halls dives into the Georgian period and features two different women from two different classes. The historical detail is amazing and well researched. It was never boring or dry but rather mysterious, new and alluring with Halls talent.
As a mother myself, this book got me in the feels. The main characters were strong and unique in their own ways as well as flawed and real. I could sympathize with the characters and as a mother can sympathize with the agonizing decisions they made. It was a great read with lots of substance and history!