4.5/ 5 Stars
Set in a period of time where social classes were well established and unwed mothers were taboo, Stacey Halls examines the topic of motherhood in her novel The Lost Orphan.
This historical fiction is set in mid 1700’s London, England and, the story is told from the perspectives of Bess Bright and Alexandra Callard. Two women from different backgrounds, who live very different lives. But, both have one thing in common, they are mothers. They say a mother’s love has no end and, that a mother will do anything to protect their child. Well I can assure you that Ms. Halls goes into great detail about that with these two characters.
When Bess left her daughter at the Foundling Hospital six years before, she could not wait to get her back. However, when Bess arrives, it seems that someone else took her baby girl away. I am not a mother so I cannot imagine the gut-wrenching pain Bess must have felt when she was told that somebody claimed her daughter. What lengths will a mother go to find her missing child? To find out the truth why someone claimed her daughter?
Meanwhile, Alexandra lives a privileged and sheltered life away from the city with her daughter. When she accepts help from a nursemaid (nanny), Alexandra must confront the past before it catches up to her. You will find that Alexandra is not necessarily maternal but, she does have a “mama bear” attitude when it comes to protecting her child.
I admire both women’s differences and their similar strengths. Stacey Halls is so descriptive and eloquent in her language. She captured what life was like back in 1700’s England. She is an excellent writer and I am planning on reading her novel The Familiars when I am done writing this review.
I recommend this novel to lovers of historical fiction, you will not be disappointed.
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