After having being amazed by ‘The Familiars’, I was curious to see how The Foundling would play out (plus the cover was pretty, it was too tempting not to). Ordinarily, I don’t think I would have picked it up given the synopsis but I was intrigued nonetheless. Looking back on it (it’s definitely been a while since reading it and getting my musings down), I don’t actually know what I was expecting but do know that I did not regret my decision in the slightest.
This was definitely fast paced right from the get go. The atmosphere of Georgian London was incredible. The way The Foundling Hospital was written about and described was fascinating, giving a real sense of London in the eighteenth century. It was evident that this had been well researched which only added to the authenticity of the book. The tragic elements entwined with the mystery aspect of the plot made this to be a compelling read.
The two different perspectives complimented each other beautifully, melding well together to give a glimpse in to the difficulties experienced both by Bess and Alexandra. It was fairly easy to sympathise with both women, more so with Bess. When first introduced, Alexandra wasn’t exactly likable. Yet, she started to become the heroine of the story as the plot developed and her perspective was more widely explored. It was evident that her trauma had started to define her, resulting in her outward coldness. Nonetheless, she could certainly be admired in some respects, making her a formidable character. There was no doubt that both Bess and Alexandra had been skilfully written.
Interestingly, at a first glance, both Bess and Alexandra seem to be at complete contrast with each other given their social standing. However, when delving further in to each woman, both depicted similarities with the other, particularly when looking at what a mother’s love will make someone do. It could be said that the sudden change in Alexandra’s character towards the end was unrealistic, which made it feel as if the ending had been rushed.
Basically, this was a wonderfully crafted historical story featuring two strong women as protagonists. As with The Familiars, the writing was amazing; it was easy to get lost within the atmosphere of Georgian London and forget about the present completely. Whist the ending was on the unrealistic side, the story as a whole was brilliant.