Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A love story, a social history, and an act that echoes through generations.

Set in the late 1800's, Marthe Jocelyn's stunning new novel is told in the voices of four people whose lives and destinies intertwine. There's Mary, who begins "exceeding ignorant" (apart from what a girl can learn from family mayhem, a dead mother, and a grim stepmother) and winds up encountering lust and betrayal when she becomes a servant in a fine house in London. Mary's nemesis is another maid in the household, Eliza. Eliza also knows lust and betrayal, but she doesn't know who is betraying who.

Mary's and Eliza's actions will intersect with a foundling home in London, where Oliver is a teacher who tries to avoid feeling anything that will perhaps make him live a real life. And then there's the foundling boy, James. Who will he grow up to be if he doesn't know where he comes from?

In the chaotic way of every life, where the past, present, and future collide, Marthe Jocelyn has traced a story that is heartbreaking and unforgettable.
Publisher: Toronto : Tundra Books, 2010.
ISBN: 9780887769290
Branch Call Number: TEEN JOC
Characteristics: 249 pages ;,22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

samdog123 Jul 04, 2013

Victorian London--not a good place to be if you're young with no family to rely on. The parallel story follows James, a young boy sent to a Foundling home and Mary, a servant who "gets herself into trouble." Not many options existed for women back then. There were many abandoned children who resorted to thievery and other sorry pursuits to make their way in life. A good plot, well-written and a good resolution at the end.

May 07, 2013

I'm trying with this book, but I find it a hard read... I may not even bother finishing it. It is not all that confusing with the multiple POVs, yet the book just seems dull.

This was a really good book. It was slow and disjointed at first, making me wonder how in the world, or if, the author was going to pull together all the stories. Then, when I (finally) put two and two together, the story became amazing and really interesting. Clever and remarkable way to connect all the stories.

CatherineG_1 Nov 05, 2010

Historical fiction, told in alternating characters.
In the end, all the characters interweave to make a surprise ending.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

VeganGreen Aug 10, 2010

VeganGreen thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at EPL

To Top