A Place to Read

The Foundling by Stacey Halls, a book review

Today I have another book review for you. I’ve just finished The Foundling by Stacey Halls on Audible. I really enjoyed The Familiars so I was excited to read another of Stacey Halls historical novels.

The Foundling cover on audible
By: Stacey Halls
Narrated by: Laura AikmanHattie Morahan
Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 06-02-20
Language: English
Publisher: Manilla Press

The Blurb

Two women, bound by a child, and a secret that will change everything . . .

London, 1754. Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London’s Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known. Dreading the worst, that Clara has died in care, Bess is astonished to be told she has already claimed her. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl – and why.

Less than a mile from Bess’s lodgings in the city, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, a young widow has not left the house in a decade. When her close friend – an ambitious young doctor at the Foundling Hospital – persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her daughter, she is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life. But her past is threatening to catch up with her and tear her carefully constructed world apart.

From the bestselling author of The Familiars comes this captivating story of mothers and daughters, class and power, and love against the greatest of odds . . .

My Review of the Foundling.

I sped through this book because it was so intriguing. From the very beginning I was taken with poor Bess who had to give up her child. Then when she went back to pick her up, she’d gone!

It wasn’t too difficult to work where the baby had gone and how Bess found her And even though Bess had changed her name it was obvious who she was, but it wasn’t meant to be a big secret anyway.

Split into sections we have the Story from Bess’s side and then from Alexandra’s. Two very different women, with very different lifestyles, but one major connection.

I love Stacey Hall’s story telling, you really get to know the characters and all about their lives. She knows how to take you back to that time in history and understand why they did what they did.

There is a little intrigue, a few questions that need answering, some tense moments and a lot of emotional involvement. All in all, I found it a really good story. I’ll definitely be looking out for Stacey Hall’s next book.

I listened to The Foundling on Audible but you can also purchase it from my bookshop or Amazon. All links are affiliate links so if you do purchase through them I may earn a little money at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.

Great news, Audible have officially launched their new Discounted Membership offer as of the 6th May 2021.

 Offer: 50% off membership for 4 months
Description: Just £3.99/month for the first 4 months, then £7.99/month
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A Place to Read

The Familiars by Stacey Halls, A Gripping Historical Story

Here is a review of my latest Audible listen, the Familiars by Stacey Halls.

By: Stacey Halls
Narrated by: Katy Sobey
Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 07-02-19
Language: English
Publisher: Zaffre

This post may contain affiliate links.

The Familiars – The Blurb

To save her child, she will trust a stranger. To protect a secret, she must risk her life….Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir.

When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn’t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy. 

Then she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife. Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby and to prove the physician wrong. As Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her.

But is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Soon the two women’s lives will become inextricably bound together as the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood’s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake. 

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

My Review

I listened to this book on Audible and was immediately drawn in. I’m not usually drawn to historical novels but I do find stories of witchcraft interesting. It’s hard to believe that such simple things that women did at those times were perceived as witchcraft, and that just simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time could get you into serious trouble.

I loved the main character, Fleetwood, as a young women she was strong and wilful. The author based her on a real person but knew nothing about her personality. I think the personality she created is what kept the story flowing.

Mixed with mystery, culture, fear and adventure, this makes for a really good read. I enjoyed every moment and the narrator took me straight back to the time and place. Reading other critics of the audible version it seems that some didn’t like the narrator, that’s why I think it’s a good idea to listen to the sample first. I found the narration perfectly enjoyable.

There is not much witchcraft in this book, so if you are looking for magic spells or evil doings then this is not the right story for you. What I enjoyed is a story about a strong young woman who stood up for herself and her friend. Whether it is believable or not doesn’t detract from the story for me. I doubt very much that during that time, that any women would have any say against those determined to be rid of witches.

I would definitely read more of Stacey Hills, her story telling is engaging.

You can find the book in my bookshop

Or on Amazon Kindle for £1.90 or hardback for £27

Read more of my book reviews here.