1899. All Nansi knows is that she and her mother were running away from someone, and then she was being fished out of Cardiff docks with no memory of how she got there. Her mother hasn’t been seen since. With nobody else to turn to, she works for Pernicious Sid at the Empire Theatre. She loves it when she gets the chance to perform and dreams of being a star, but Sid also makes her steal, sneaking into rich houses dressed as a maid, telling her the money will pay for a dectective to find out who she is. Life is hard but Nansi is a fighter, determined to protect her friend Bee and, most of all, to find her mother.
Everything changes when Constance and Violet join the theatre. At first it looks like Violet might be Nansi’s big break, but it’s Con that holds the real secret. Who can Nansi trust? As she starts to get closer to the truth, she’s soon on the run for her life.
Can she save her mother? Can she save herself?
Eloise Williams’s wild, dark Victorian thriller has a brave, complex heroine who will break your heart and make you cheer. ‘It’s hard to drown when you’re as good at swimming as I am…’