Among the Fallen

Among the Fallen

by Virginia Frances Schwartz

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Overview

Imprisoned for crimes she didn't commit, sixteen-year-old Orpha accepts an unusual invitation to live in a Victorian home for fallen women-- and finds new hope.

Though haunted by nightmarish flashbacks and withering in the miserable conditions of Tothill prison, an infamous Victorian workhouse, Orpha perseveres, doing what she can to befriend and protect the other girls imprisoned alongside her. She doesn't speak about what happened-- no one would listen. No one would believe her.

But then a mysterious letter arrives, offering her a place at Urania cottage. This experimental home aims to rehabilitate so-called fallen women-- many of them victims of sexual abuse, suffering not only the trauma of their experiences, but the blame and loss of reputation and livelihood.

It sounds too good to be true-- but with nowhere else to go, Orpha decides to take her chance. Soon she discovers her unknown savior is none other than Charles Dickens, whose writing deals extensively with the plight of the lower class, and whose friendship and guidance offers Orpha a new way to express herself.

With the support of the other women of Urania and the promise of a real future, Orpha will have to confront the darkest parts of her past-- and let go of her secrets.

This atmospheric historical novel, full of heartbreakingly real characters whose lives are all too believable, celebrates the strength and resilience of young women throughout history. Virginia Frances' Schwartz's powerful prose, structured to echo Dickens' serialized style, illuminates an era of startling inequality and extreme poverty. Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's Fever 1793, Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace, and Katherine Paterson's Lyddie will enjoy this riveting title.

Named to the Amelia Bloomer book List
A Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823444083
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication date: 10/22/2019
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 206,560
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Virginia Frances Schwartz grew up in rural Ontario, Canada, but now lives in Queens, New York, where she taught writing in the public schools before devoting her career to her own writing. She is best known for her novels for young adults which have been ALA Best Books for YAs, and winners of multiple Canadian awards including the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction, the Ontario Silver Birch Fiction Award, the Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award, and British Columbia Red Cedar Award. Her work includes Crossing to Freedom and If I Just Had Two Wings. She teaches a creative writing course at UCLA Online.

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