Young Dot Allbones is the runt of a large Midlands family. Blessed with none of her sisters' beauty, she'll be lucky even to find a man to marry her. Whatever shall be done with Dot?
When Kate Eddowes comes up from London and moves in next door, no one expects the pretty and popular orphan to take any notice of the plain-faced and provincial Dot, five years her junior. But against the odds, the girls strike up an unlikely friendship.
As the friends become young women, the bright lights of the capital lure them south, and Dot discovers a lucrative talent for making people laugh. But even as she shines on the music hall stage, Kate's own life begins to fall apart. And the shadowy streets of Whitechapel are no place for a desperate woman to wander....
Capturing the dark heart of Victorian London with her inimitable sharpness and wry wit, Laurie Graham brings to life the bustling pleasures and not-so-hidden dangers of life in a crowded city with its extremes of poverty and wealth. And all the while, in the shadows, lurks the lacerating threat of the Ripper.
"Why is Laurie Graham not carried on people's shoulders through cheering crowds? Her books are brilliant!" (Marian Keyes)
"A delightfully smart and sophisticated historical novelist." (Sunday Times)
"What a wonderful, life-enhancing, truly funny writer she is." (Wendy Buchan)
"One of my favourite writers." (Wendy Holden)
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Great read, great reader ...
- Rachel Winters