Thursday 3 September 2020

The Foundling by Stacey Halls @stacey_halls #PaperbackPublicationDay #TheFoundling @BonnierBooks_UK @Francesca_PR #MyLifeInBooks

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 . . .

The Foundling by Stacey Halls is published in paperback today, 3 September 2020 by Manilla Press.

I read and reviewed The Foundling back in February for hardback publication here on Random Things 

I am delighted to welcome the author Stacey Halls here to my blog to celebrate paperback publication date. She's talking about the books that are special to her in My Life In Books

My Life in Books - Stacey Halls

The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan Ahlberg
This was one of the first books I remember reading, and I still have it. It’s so special to me, and I loved how it folds out with all the little extra bits: the recipes and Christmas lists. It makes me feel so Christmassy and takes me back to that time of year as a child, with all the build-up and excitement.

The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe by CS Lewis
My year four teacher read this to us in school, and I was spellbound. My mum had a fur coat, and I would shut myself in the wardrobe with it and conjure the world of Narnia in my head. I don’t think there are many scenes more evocative in children’s literature than the one in which Lucy goes to Mr Tumnus’ house for tea and toast in the snow.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Another childhood favourite of mine: I never had my own copy but I borrowed it constantly from the library. I think this book is responsible for my fascination with the Victorian era. I knew passages of it by heart, and can still recite some of the Jabberwocky.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I read this when I was about 11 when my Nana bought it for me as part of a Wordsworth’s Children’s Classics set, and I’ve loved it ever since. ‘Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents’ remains one of the best opening lines ever, and I adored Greta Gerwig’s adaptation last year; it felt so modern but nostalgic at the same time.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
We studied this in secondary school, and it’s stuck with me ever since. It was one of the first big books I’d read that dealt with serious issues: race, rape, poverty, class, all through the eyes of a child. Unpicking a novel for a year really makes it stay with you, and the film is a classic.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Another school syllabus novel that’s made it into my favourites. I didn’t appreciate it at the time – in fact I found it rather boring. But as an adult something made me read it again, and of course it’s a masterpiece. The gothic element, the lonely marshes, Estella’s cruelty and Pip’s social education – it’s like six novels in one, and sparked my love of Dickens.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
It’s difficult to think of a novel with more soul, energy and atmosphere than this, with the most stunning setting – West Yorkshire is my favourite place in the world. There’s something so horrible about Wuthering Heights – all the characters are unlikeable, their relationships disastrous – but so compelling. As well there’s something intensely fascinating about the fact that it was Emily Bronte’s only novel, and she, like the characters, died so young.

The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman
One of my favourite historical novels that I reread every year, this is from Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart series. It’s set in Victorian London, and follows a teenage girl attempting to investigate her father’s mysterious death, which makes it sound like a Penny Dreadful, but it’s so gripping and immersive. I first read these when I was 15 and think they’ve influenced all my novels so far.

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale
I love narrative non-fiction, of which this was my first taste, and I was hooked. It’s the true crime story of the murder at Road Hill House of a three-year-old boy in 1860; the only suspects were his family, because he was taken from a locked house. It sparked one of the first detective cases in the country and is a complete page-turner.

One Day by David Nicholls
The book that made me fall in love with London, about two people who grow together over two decades, visiting them on the same day every year. It’s safe to say this novel captured the hearts of about a million people, and it’s just so gorgeously told. Plus I loved that Emma was funny and northern and went on to be an author.

Stacey Halls - September 2020 

Praise for The Foundling

‘The Foundling dragged me along in its narrative wake. Another gripping, immersive, intelligent work of historical fiction from the bestselling author of The Familiars’ Kiran Millwood Hargraves, author of The Mercies

“If you loved The Familiars, then you won't be disappointed by The Foundling. A gripping and moving read.” Libby Page, author of The Lido

“Pacey, highly atmospheric and tantalisingly gripping from the very first page. With rich storytelling and a compelling narrative, The Foundling is subtle, satisfying and intensely moving; a fabulous example of great historical fiction.” Laura Carlin, author of The Wicked Cometh

“It was a privilege to read The Foundling. I really couldn't stop turning the pages as Stacey's beautiful writing drew a compelling tale of love and hope from the vivid streets of Georgian London.” Sonia Velton, author of Blackberry & Wild Rose

“I was completely swept up in this novel. It's crammed with vivid and engaging characters, there's a beautiful sense of place, revealing hidden aspects of Georgian life.” Amanda Mason, author of The Wayward Girls

“Beautiful and captivating” Candis

“If you love Mindhunter levels of suspense, you’ll love it” Cosmopolitan

“Teaming with atmosphere this is a gripping historical yarn” Sunday Mirror

“The young mother's search for answers to this mystery provides the focus for Halls's tour through 18th-century London, which covers territory familiar from other novels but has its own energy" The Sunday Times

“With a gripping sense of 18th century time and place, vividly portrayed characters who stay in the mind long after the last page has turned, and a clever, fast-moving, dual narrative which allows readers to understand both sides of a multi-layered mystery, this is captivating, compelling storytelling” Lancashire Post

“A beguiling story of motherhood and emotions that brings Georgian London to life” Choice Magazine

“You'll be carried along by the period details” Woman’s Own

“Rich in research and resonant in detail, Stacey Halls writes the sort of historical fiction that effortlessly brings the past to life... her storytelling pulls you in from the start” Living Magazine

“enjoyable and atmospheric novel” The Times

“This is quite simply a joy to read. The attention to detail is perfect and the story is one that will wrap you up as you read. Heart tuggingly emotional” Woman’s Way

“fast-paced- elegantly written novel that vividly conveys the sights, sounds and smells of Georgian London” Daily Mirror

“Irresistible” HEAT Magazine

“a moving, atmospheric chiller" The Independent

“Halls paints a vivid picture of life in the 1740s... descriptions are so vivid and dialogue so fluid” Radio Times

“Stacey Halls' vibrant second novel is packed to the gills with the teeming tempestuous life of Georgian London... Halls' story is an engaging read” Daily Mail

“The Foundling is a ripping yarn with real heart and depth” The Sun Business Post

“Stacey Halls vividly captures the sights, sounds and smells of Georgian London, the language and the lifestyle, the customs and quirks, and the sense of time and place is a breath-taking achievement. This is a book that was clearly extensively researched, but the writer wears her learning lightly” Sunday Express

“Brimming with atmosphere, this fabulous period drama will tug at your heartstrings” Best Magazine

Stacey Halls was born in 1989 and grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire.
She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and has written for publications including the Guardian, Stylist, Psychologies, The Independent, The Sun and Fabulous.

Her first book, The Familiars was the bestselling debut novel of 2019
The Foundling is her second novel

Twitter @stacey_halls
Instagram @staceyhallsauthor

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