The Foundling by Stacey Halls

It has been far too long since I read ‘Mrs England‘ – in fact it has been over two years – which means that ‘The Foundling’ has probably been on the tbr pile for almost as long. (I really do need to get it under control.)

But, after seeing one of my Bookstagram buddies having a real Stacey Halls phase, I thought it was about time I picked ‘The Foundling’ up. And what a lovely read it is. I think I had been putting it off, as historical fiction is not always my top choice of genre, but that attitude has slowly been changing over the last couple of years, as it is a genre that seems to be getting so much better.

‘The Foundling’ focuses on the Foundling Hospital in London and the experiences of those who were forced to leave children there, and those who adpoted children from there. This is a fascinating study of relationships: those between families and those between different social classes. And, of course, how wealth can bring freedom to many, and poverty can bring restrictions to so many others.

You are swept away to London in 1754 from the moment you start reading this book; it has been 6 years since Clara left her daughter at the Foundling Hospital, and now she is returning to collect her after saving what she believes is the fee to buy her daughter’s freedom. In a cruel twist of fate, Clara’s daughter has gone, apparently taken by Clara herself just days after she left her there. So where is Clara’s daughter now, and how will she ever see her again?

After this, I will definitely be returning to the books of Stacey Hall very soon. This is historical fiction that is well-researched, well-plotted and does not rely solely on lots of description to create an atmosphere of the time. It feels a little like time travel in a book, and I really enjoy that.

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