Rags to Riches

Written by Maggie Ford
Review by Clare Lehovsky

This novel sheds light on two social classes in London in the 1920s, when everything is turned upside down by both lust and love. Amy Harrington regrets the mistake she’s made when she’s forced to leave her upper-class family to live in London’s East End with the family of her maid. Little did she know that she would find so much more life there than in the glitter and glamour than she was previously used to.

Ford takes great care with each of her characters and leaves us with the feeling that we are part of the Jordan family as we see what they go through. Similarly, we follow Amy’s maid Alice with bated breath while she finds out what having a family really means. Through the girls’ unlikely friendship at the beginning of the book we see what life was like for teenage girls on either end of the spectrum, and how they could be affected by the same decisions and consequences. Rather than focusing on one social class, the author seamlessly flits between the two, which makes us aware of the importance of money and also the importance of genuine love. The length of the book allows characters to develop over time, and it is an engrossing experience. By the end of the novel you love each character in their own way and feel their pain. You begin to resent anyone who goes against them; however, sometimes your own loyalties are tested as everyone is interlinked.