On the death of her mother, Susannah Garland goes to live with her uncle, Lord Devereux, and cousin, Miles, at Sanderby, not far from London, where she is tolerated by her uncle and in love with her cousin. She is therefore devastated to learn that not only is her cousin to marry Lady Agnes Winston, but that she, Susannah, is to be sent away to Ireland. Believing that she has an aunt in London, she leaves Sanderby in order to find her, only to discover that her aunt has died and she is now on her own in the capital, without money or references and with only her abilities as a seamstress to recommend her to any potential employer. To make matters worse, she encounters Sir Jeffrey Stratton, who despises her family.
The story unfolds against the background of 18th century London, its life and commerce, and underlying it are the political undercurrents of the day. I found the book to be a real page turner. The characterisation was good, the life of the beau monde beautifully portrayed and although the final outcome, as with all of this genre, was never in doubt, it made for a fascinating story. This is one I could happily read again.