The wonderfully nostalgic, vivid and compelling new novel from the Sunday Times top-five best-selling author of A Loving Family. From the age of eight, 16-year-old Charity Crosse has been living rough with her grandfather and begging on the streets. When her grandfather passes away, Charity is helped by a kindly doctor who introduces her to bookseller Jethro Dawkins. Jethro takes Charity in to help in his bookshop and keep house in their one room behind the shop.
The new novel from Sunday Times best seller Dilly Court. She turned the picture of the Christmas card over with her frozen hands. The scene showed a family at Yuletide as they gathered around the magnificent tree. Standing stiff with cold on the icy cobbles, Alice could only dream.... With the snow falling steadily, Alice and her ailing mother have found themselves on the cold streets of London with only debts to their name - forced to rely on the begrudging charity of cruel Aunt Jane.
Circumstances force eight-year-old Sarah and her widowed mother to enter the notorious St Giles and St George’s Workhouse. When her mother dies in childbirth, the independent-minded Sarah falls foul of the workhouse master, Trigg, and his cruel wife. Sarah’s ordeal seems to be over when a sugar mill owner takes her into his home. But her wealthy benefactor reports Trigg and his wife. And blaming Sarah for their misfortune, in a fit of revenge, the couple decide to take the law into their own hands.
When Hetty Huggins made a promise to her dying mother that she would look after her younger sister and brothers, little did she know how difficult this would be. But despite the threat of being turned out onto the streets by the unscrupulous tallyman and the never-ending struggle just to exist, Hetty is determined her family will never starve or want for a roof over their heads. Longing for something better out of life than the daily grind of making matchboxes for a pittance, she dreams of setting up her own business.
On a bitter winter's day, an unnamed girl lies dangerously ill in hospital. When two coarse, rough-speaking individuals come to claim her, she can remember nothing of the events that brought her to her present state, not even her name. According to the men, she is their young sister, Lucy. As her health improves and her memory gradually returns, she realises she's been kidnapped. But she has no means of escaping the hideous confines of the filthy basement room in which they have imprisoned her in.
Lottie Lane is all alone in the world. As a chambermaid at one of London's busiest inns, condemned to a life of drudgery and at the mercy of a vicious landlady, Lottie is too worn out to even dream of a better life. Until one night an injured soldier is brought to The Swan. Lottie nurses him back from the dead, and suddenly everything changes.
The wonderfully nostalgic and heartwarming new novel from the Sunday Times top-ten best-selling author of The Beggar Maid. Born out of wedlock when her mother was only fourteen, Lucy Pocket has spent all her life in the care of her disreputable but charming grandmother, Eva. They dodge from one poor lodging house to another, always in debt and resorting to theft in order to exist. Until her wealthy paternal grandfather buys her from Eva, determined to bring Lucy up to be a lady.
She longed to be reunited with her family. The compelling new novel from the Sunday Times top ten bestselling author of The Workhouse Girl. Eleven-year-old Stella Barry is forced into service when her family find themselves living hand-to-mouth.Leaving her mother and younger brother and sister behind, Stella goes to a big country house outside London. When she returns home one Sunday, she discovers they have disappeared.
Despite her privileged upbringing, Daisy Lennox has always longed to make something of her life. She is drawn to the suffragette movement, but when her father faces ruin they are forced to move to the country and Daisy’s first duty is to her family. Here she becomes engaged to her childhood friend – a union both families have dreamed of. But, on the eve of their wedding, war is declared, and Daisy knows her life will never be the same again...
When Eloise Cribb receives the news that her husband's ship has been lost at sea, she wonders how she is ever going to manage. With two young children, the rent overdue, and almost nothing to live on, she has no alternative but to turn to his estranged family for help. She sets off on the long and arduous journey to Yorkshire, but is met with hostility and soon realises she has little choice but to return to London. Virtually destitute and desperate, Eloise is faced with her worst nightmare....
When 17-year-old Belinda Phillips falls in love with a handsome Anglo-Indian officer, she knows that he is a man she can never hope to marry. When he is reported missing, believed killed in action, Belinda discovers that she is pregnant. Facing disgrace and ruin, she has no option other than to accept an arranged marriage with a middle-aged widower, knowing she must keep the secret of her child's birth for ever. Reluctantly she sends her beloved daughter to a foster mother in Cripplegate, little realising she has entrusted Cassy's care to Biddy Henchard, a woman who runs a notorious baby farm in an area full of poverty and disease.
With the fate of her family in her hands, Rose has to make a terrible choice: be thrown onto the streets without a penny to her name or watch her loved ones fall into ruin.... Rose is keeping a dreadful secret, and, too scared to ask her strict father for help, it's down to her to keep her brother from the hangman's noose - whatever it takes. Her innocent sister, Cora, is on a different road to ruin, bewitched by a handsome cad whose intentions are anything but gallant.
The heartwarming and nostalgic new novel from the Sunday Times top ten best-selling author of The Beggar Maid. Motherless since she was five, Mirabel Cutler was raised by her father to be a lady. But when he dies suddenly, Mirabel finds herself cast out on the street by her ruthless stepmother. She is taken to a place of refuge by charismatic sea captain Jack Starke. But the safe haven turns out to be a house of ill repute.
Lily Larkin is the youngest of six and the least important member of her family. With their father dead and their mother a stranger to them, she must stay at home and keep house whilst her elder siblings go out to work. As she goes about her daily chores, her head is full of dreams. And she longs for the day she can have a life of her own. When a fire threatens to destroy the nearby docks, Lily's act of kindness towards a handsome foreigner has disastrous consequences for the whole family.
Phoebe Giamatti lives with her boisterous Italian family in the heart of London's East End. Phoebe's father was killed in gang warfare and she and her family share a deep hatred for the Paxman brothers - whose lawless ways strike terror into the whole community. Despite her English mother's feckless ways, Phoebe is fiercely protective of Annie. Then just as the family are about to go to Italy for the winter, Phoebe discovers Annie is in trouble - and the Paxmans are involved.
Despite living by the side of the Thames, with its noise, disease and dirt, 18-year-old Rosina May has wanted for little in life. Until her father's feud with a fellow bargeman threatens to destroy everything. To save them all, Rosina agrees to marry Harry, the son of a wealthy merchant. But a chance encounter with a handsome river pirate has turned her head and she longs to meet him again. When her father dies a broken man, Harry goes back on his promise and turns Rosina out onto the streets.
Eighteen-year-old Irene Angel lives with her parents in a tiny room above the shop where her crippled mother ekes out a living selling pickles and sauces, whilst her charming but feckless father Billy gambles away what little money they do manage to earn. And it is all Irene can do to keep the family together. Billy's addiction soon leads him into trouble. Despite having been brought up by her father to fear and distrust the police, Irene finds herself forced to collaborate with them to save her father from ruin.
Since the untimely death of her husband, young mother Effie Grey has been forced to live on a narrowboat owned by her tyrannical father-in-law Jacob. In spite of her own despair, she is determined to protect her brother Tom and her baby son Georgie from Jacob's bullying ways - for she is all they have in the world. But when Jacob hires villainous Salter and his vile wife Sal to run the barge, Effie's life becomes even more unbearable, and Tom is sent packing without a penny to his name.