FICTION

The Lost Orphan

Mira: Harlequin. Apr. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9780778309321. pap. $16.99. F
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Bess, an unwed woman in 1754 London, finds herself pregnant. Barely able to get by working as a shrimp hocker, she feels the only thing to do is give up her daughter to the Foundling Hospital, a home for unwanted children. Bess promises herself she’ll be back to claim her daughter, and she does return six years later, to find that her daughter has already been claimed. Just a short distance away, Eliza is hired as the nursemaid to a young girl, Charlotte, at the request of a doctor who works for the Foundling Hospital. Charlotte’s mother is a widow and has not left the house in a decade. As Charlotte and Eliza become fast friends, Eliza begins to unravel her employer’s long-kept family secrets and is faced with a decision that will significantly alter her and Charlotte’s worlds.
VERDICT Halls’s (The Familiars) mysterious tale is full of intrigue. The characters are quirky, and their personalities will keep readers invested. The Georgian setting also plays a huge role, as does the formidable hospital. This is a page-turner with a satisfying and harmonious ending.

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