Coronation Day, 1953.
In the Somerset village of Sawbridge, young shopkeeper Molly Heywood slips away from the celebrations to her friend's cottage and makes a shocking discovery: Cassie is dead and her six-year-old daughter Petal has vanished without a trace.
In her grief, Molly seeks help from her childhood friend George, now the village policeman, but no one can find Petal. The only clue is a letter from London, where Cassie once lived. Despite George's reluctance and her growing feelings for him, Molly resolves to go to London in the hope of discovering the missing child.
Arriving in the big city, Molly quickly learns it's a dangerous place for a country girl on her own. But there's hope too - in the Blitz-ruined East End, she unexpectedly finds friendship with strangers from Cassie's past and, with handsome, mysterious workman Charley, the possibility of something more.However, the closer Molly gets to the truth, the more perilous her journey becomes. She has given up everything - her home, happiness and a chance at love - all to find Petal. But is she also risking her life?
While Molly Heywood's friend Cassie does not arrive at the Coronation party that the village has organised, with her young daughter, Petal, Molly knows something must be wrong so she goes to her house to look for her. She finds her friend dead and no sign of Petal.
Frustrated with what she sees as a lack of effort to find Petal by the local police, mainly due to the circumstances - she knew that no-one really liked Cassie, an outsider frowned upon for being a single mother especially to a mixed race child and seen as promiscuous, but Cassie knew that she was a good person, and more importantly a good mother to Petal, she knew she had to push for more action to be taken.
She had little to go on but a letter found in Cassie's belongings, she was sick of her father's violent behaviour, and armed with the letter - addressed from a sender in London, she made her way there with hopes of beginning a new life, and more importantly finding what happened to little Petal.
Lesley Pearse books always have a good solid storyline, a strong heroine and an epic romance, and this latest offering will not disappoint.
I loved watching Molly's character develop as she is freed from the oppressive shadow of her father, and triumph over bitter disappointments and grow in confidence.
The supporting characters are also well developed and add rich layers to the story, I loved Sister Constance a lot. There is a brilliant twist towards the end that I really did not see coming and the way that part of the story was written was really gripping.
This is a book that will span the ages and will be as popular with more mature readers and a book I can happily recommend to my mother as well as my friends.
Many thanks to Sophie at ED PR for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review