Marthe Jocelyn, Author . Random/Lamb $15.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-73846-0

Inspired by the story of her grandfather and his mother, who gave him up to London's Foundling Hospital, Jocelyn (Would You ) intimately reimagines and fictionalizes their lives in alternating chapters and in different time periods. In 1876, 15-year-old Mary must leave home, not long after her mother dies, for a job as a scullery maid in London. A conniving co-worker, Eliza, encourages Mary to meet a young man in order to keep her away from an admiring butler; soon Mary finds herself in trouble after a passionate encounter that she herself deems unladylike, “but a lady were never what I got up in the morning to be.” Meanwhile, in 1884, six-year-old James must leave his beloved foster mother to return to the Foundling Hospital for an education. Told in third person (as are Eliza's chapters and those of an instructor at the Hospital), James's story is perhaps the most affecting, as he is alternately despondent and intrepid in seeking familial connections. The novel skillfully illustrates how the lives of those who resided “belowstairs” in Victorian England were at the mercy of those with means. Ages 14–up. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/19/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-88776-929-0
Ebook - 978-1-77049-212-7
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-375-89451-0
Library Binding - 249 pages - 978-0-385-90731-6
Paperback - 249 pages - 978-0-375-85543-6
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