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Heart-warming Victorian historical fiction by Lynette Rees - author of the best-selling book, The Workhouse Waif. Perfect for fans of Dilly Court and Maggie Hope.
A baby girl, just a few months old, is discovered wrapped up in a shawl on a wooden bench at Itchy Park, Spitalfields. It's a frosty December evening just before the Christmas of 1861. The infant is rescued by a lady called Bessie Harper, who has her own pie making business. Bessie names the young child, Lucy, and in later years, deceives the child by telling her that her mother died years ago, not to upset her with the revelation she'd been left to the elements. Bessie has no idea who the child’s mother really is but clutched tightly in the baby's hand, she discovers a silver locket which has the name "Adella" inscribed on it and a lock of hair inside.
Bessie vows one day she’ll help the child find her mother and tell her the truth regarding the circumstances of how she found her. Bessie’s husband, however, becomes jealous and mean to the child, so as soon as she's old enough, he encourages his wife to send her out to work. Lucy begins work as a maid at a coaching inn called "The Horn and Bugle" near to Bessie’s home, where she also resides on the premises. But there, she discovers that light fingered hands are at work and she wants no part of it.
Smithy, who works helping the ostlers at the inn, introduces her to Archie Ledbetter, a young street urchin, who is on the run from a chimney sweep who has been forcing him to work in an inferno of hell. Lucy feels sorry for the lad particularly when a serious accusation is made which involves the police being called to the inn. Lucy and Archie are destined to become friends for life but will soon be parted by circumstance, which leads Lucy into the path of a mysterious benefactor from Dunraven House, a stately home. The house holds many secrets and Lucy is itching to get into the attic to discover what mystery it holds. Unfortunately, someone has the key and keeps it closely guarded.
Can Lucy discover what's going on at the house which might lead her to discover more about her past or is she destined to remain in the dark forever?