Living in the Shadows – (The Foundling’s Path – Part 1) picks up the interlinking story of the working classes and the gentry living in the shadow of Linmore Hill.
What chance has a girl born into poverty of achieving a position of trust, unless a person in authority deems her worthy?
A story, which begins in Shropshire during the Pre-Regency Georgian era, (1808 – 1816), about an alliance between a homeless girl, a country midwife and a physician; each ready to help the other – in secret – at a time when it is illegal to cohabit with gypsies and herbal treatments are likened to witchcraft.
Turned off from her job, Nell Walcote seeks shelter with a relative stranger. As a foundling she grew up expecting to be treated with disdain but finds that a gypsy lives a harsher existence than even Nell has known. Whilst they are together, she finds companionship and discovers links to her birth from someone who was present at the time.
Meg Chapel, an enigmatic gypsy midwife, herbalist and keeper of secrets. An outcast, with the uncanny ability to pass chameleon-like between the social classes – and to teach Nell new skills that will prepare her for the challenges ahead.
Dr James Althorpe, a country physician, has a novel idea to improve his clinical practice. When he meets Nell Walcote, he recognises in her the refined person he has been seeking. But it was not his intention, when employing Nell as a nurse to his private patients, to expose her to the licentious attention of so-called gentlemen.
Cast out into a harsh world, Nell’s first step towards respectability takes her through uncharted territory, but will the skills she is taught help her to navigate the pitfalls ahead? Or will her vibrant looks prove a distraction for others? And will the memories of her tainted origins impede her progress?