Two for Sorrow by Nicola Upson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was a little hard to rate. It isn't as much a mystery as a "true crime" story with a more current mystery added on. In 1903, two women were hanged as "baby farmers." That is, women who cared for mothers during the birth of their children, mainly illegitimate children and were supposed to be finding them good homes. In reality, they often killed the babies while they maintained the delusion that the children were in happy homes. This was all mixed up in the extremely contradictory practices and laws of the Victorian era. In so many cases, the women had very little choice and what was done to many of the was criminal.
Josephine Tey, the main character, and also a real person was writing a book about the life of the two women hanged and the author has her involved in a number of coincidences which at times stretch the imagination. The point of the book isn't who committed these crimes, but why.
There is also a section of the book devoted to a lesbian relationship which I found very distracting as it had virtually nothing to do with the book. While somewhat grounded in truth in that Tey was almost certainly a lesbian, this relationship is fictitious and does nothing to contribute.
View all my reviews