In the musty attic of an upstate New York house, a woman
finds a clasped box, hidden away for over a century.
Inside, wrapped in cambric and tied with a green ribbon, is
an old manuscript written by a girl dreaming of a better
life, fighting for survival, and coming of age in a time of
chaos and danger. This wondrously told tale is a stirring
adventure set in nineteenth-century England, a novel of
rich history and vibrant imagination.
Amid the lush fields and gardens of an English estate, in a
kitchen where every meal is a sumptuous feast, a young
servant called Paddy anxiously hides her true identity.
Using coal soot and grease, she conceals her flaming head
of red hair and covers her body, desperate to keep the job
she needs to survive. But the girl, whose real name is
Mina, cannot conceal from herself the pain of her past or
the beauty of an Ireland she remembers with love and grief?
until she meets a man who convinces her to trust him, a man
hiding sorrows of his own.
To the mysterious Mr. Serle?the estate?s skilled and quiet
chef?Mina dares to confess her true identity and reveal a
shattered past: her flight from the blighted fields of her
homeland to the teeming streets of Liverpool...her memories
of the family she lost and dreams for the future. And as
Mina and Mr. Serle begin to know each other, an
extraordinary journey begins?a journey of faith and
identity, adventure and awakening, that will alter the
course of both their lives.
The sights and sounds of nineteenth-century England come
vividly to life in Jonatha Ceely?s magnificent novel, a
tale that explores the intricate relationship forged by two
people in hiding. Moving and unforgettable, Mina is
historical fiction at its finest?a novel that makes you
think, feel, and marvel until the last satisfying page is