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Summary

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, 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' 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 best-selling author of The Familiars comes this captivating story of mothers and daughters, class and power, and love against the greatest of odds....

©2020 Stacy Halls (P)2020 Bonnier Books UK

Critic reviews

"If you loved The Familiars, then you won't be disappointed by The Foundling. A gripping and moving read." (Libby Page, best-sellng author of The Lido)  

"A masterpiece of storytelling - a perfect, captivating mystery that expands to ask big questions about love and motherhood, all while maintaining the breathless pace of a thriller, and the stunningly vivid and well-researched detail of the very best historical fiction. I can't recommend it highly enough." (Katie Lowe, author of The Furies)

What listeners say about The Foundling

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Just loved every word.....

Just loved this book, listened to it in 3 days! Loved it as much as Familiars, less magic, but description so detailed and you could imagine treading the London streets yourself. An amazing book, thankyou.

19 people found this helpful

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Brilliant Book!

I loved the familars having grown up with the Pendel Witches I wondered if this second novel would be as fantastic. I was not disappointed. the story is totally heart wrenching, uplifting and tragic. the multi context driven storyline tackling grief, motherhood, love, poverty, class divisions and the challenges of female expectations. the performances were perfect filled with the emotion of the text. it allowed me to emerce myself within the characters. one of the best new novels I've encountered!

12 people found this helpful

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  • HK
  • 29-02-20

My kinda book..

I really enjoy Stacey Halls’ work. I preordered this and I wasn’t disappointed. I enjoyed the double narrative and the performances were brilliant too. I enjoy reading historical novels and this was another cracker! Recommend her first title The Familiars also.

12 people found this helpful

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Another strong book for Stacey Halls

Having recently visited the Foundling Museum in London I was intrigued to listen to this book. It stays faithful to history and captivates the listener to those particular turbulant times of City life. The characters were well written, the story well put together, I enjoyed the narrator's. I recommend it!

7 people found this helpful

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Entrancing story and narration.

I really enjoyed this book and the narration added to the development of the main characters. Highly recommenced.

5 people found this helpful

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One not to miss.

A truly amazing story. Sad it has ended. Can't wait to read her other story.

5 people found this helpful

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disappointed

I expected so much more after reading the familiars. nothing at all wrong with the book, just not what I thought it would be. very predictable

5 people found this helpful

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A Good Listen

well paced story ith strong characters. I enjoyed the atmosphere . Very well read by two readers.

5 people found this helpful

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The Foundling

Loved this book..the story, the characters, the narration.. I could not stop listening to it

5 people found this helpful

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An engrossing story

I greatly enjoyed this engaging and at times gripping story told from the perspectives of the two women closely involved the fate of a 6 year old girl. Set in the early 19th century it reminds one of the plight of unmarried women finding themselves pregnant with no where to turn and having to give up their babies to charitable organizations with the option, rarely exercised, of retrieving the child at a later date. The story highlights the disparity in wealth and influence between people at the top and bottom of society, but also how little the emotions differ in the face of loss. There is a gritty realism to the story until the pleasing but unrealistic final chapter. Having very different voices for the two women makes the women seem like real people.

4 people found this helpful