As young Queen Victoria begins her long reign and railroads start crisscrossing England, nearly-grown Aurelia and Amy get glimpses of freedom and possibilities that have long been denied to women of their era.
Read the first chapter here free (thanks, Simon & Schuster!) as young girl Aurelia discovers infant Amy in a snowbank and begins a friendship that will transform both their lives.
A treasure hunt (with cipher and code along the way), a journey (past despair and expectations), and a promise – but is it worth it for Amy to follow Aurelia’s posthumous clues?
My book talk: When wealthy young girl Aurelia insists on keeping abandoned baby ‘Amy’, both grow up to defy the roles set for them by British society as Aurelia’s early death sends Amy on an unchaperoned cross-country journey to fulfill her last wishes.
Diagnosed with a fatal heart condition at 16, Aurelia escapes being married (what terrible men as suitors!) and escapes from Hatfield Court to travel briefly, leaving 10 year old Amy without her only friend, misunderstood by the servants, and much despised by Lady Vennaway.
Upon Aurelia’s death at 18, Amy receives her friend’s sketchbook, a little money, then a secret packet just before she’s banished from Hatfield. A letter from Aurelia tells her to travel to London! on one of those new trains! to find a bookshop? where Amy will locate more instructions.
As Amy meets people whom vibrant Aurelia befriended during her travels, she starts to come out of her shell, consider what might have kept Aurelia away from home so long, and even begins thinking about what may lie ahead for herself.
Will Amy ever discover the tiniest detail about her parentage?
Why don’t some of Aurelia’s traveling letters match up with the places that she visited?
When, oh when will this traveling end so that Amy may be free to discover her own future?
An exciting historical novel that celebrates friendship, chances, choices, and love.