Monday 1 April 2024

πŸ“– Featured Book of the Month ~ The Household by Stacey Halls


11 April 2024

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book

In a quiet house in the countryside outside London, the finishing touches are being made to welcome a group of young women. The house and its location are top secret, its residents unknown to one another, but the girls have one thing in they are fallen. Offering refuge for prostitutes, petty thieves and the destitute, Urania Cottage is a second chance at life - but how badly do they want it?

Meanwhile, a few miles away in a Piccadilly mansion, millionairess Angela Burdett-Coutts, one of the benefactors of Urania Cottage, makes a discovery that leaves her her stalker of 10 years has been released from prison . . .

As the women's worlds collide in ways they could never have expected, they will discover that freedom always comes at a price...

πŸ“–My Review..

In the countryside just outside London Urania House is preparing to welcome its first inhabitants. Thanks to the philanthropy of Charles Dickens and other wealthy benefactors, fallen women from the city are being offered the chance of a new start. At Urania House they will learn household management, how to dress and act appropriately and when the  time is right the women will be offered the opportunity of making a new life in one of the colonies. 

Angela Burdett-Coutts is the wealthiest woman in the country and is using her vast wealth to make a real difference to the lives of the women at Urania House. However, Angela has her own burden to carry and it is when her troubles overlap with the household that events start to spiral out of control.

The Household just oozes atmosphere, from the quiet confidence of Urania House where prostitutes and petty thieves are given a place of safety and the means to turn their meagre lives into something worthwhile, while juxtaposed are the corrupt and degenerate who prey on those who are vulnerable. We also learn that vast wealth brings its own complexities and is at times more of a burden than abject poverty. Beautifully written, weaving real life figures into a clever historical story of corruption, despair, new beginnings and ultimately freedom and the hope for a different future.  

I am delighted to have The Household as my Featured Book of the Month for April. It's published by Mantle on the 11th April 2024

About the Author

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 hardback novel of 2019, won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards Debut Book of the Year. The Foundling, her second, was a Sunday Times bestseller, as was her third Mrs England. Mrs England was longlisted for the Portico Prize, the Walter Scott Prize and won the Women's Prize Futures Award

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