When Charlotte Brontė died in 1855, she left behind twenty pages of a novel that signaled her most compelling work since Jane Eyre. One hundred fifty years later, Clare Boylan has finished Brontė's novel, sparking a sensational literary event. With pitch-perfect tone that is utterly true to Brontė's voice, Boylan delivers a brilliant tale about a mysterious young girl, Matilda, who is delivered to a girls' school in provincial England. When everything about the girl's wealthy background turns out to be a fiction, it falls to a local gentleman, Mr. Ellin, and a childless widow, Isabel Chalfont, to begin a quest for her past and her identity that takes them from the drawing rooms of country society to London's seamiest alleys. With all the intelligence and pathos of the novel's originator, Boylan develops Brontė's sketch of a girl without a past into a stunning portrait of Victorian society with a shameful secret at its heart.