Beginning in Victoria’s England of the 1880s, the teenaged Peridot learns that Mr Cheke, the chemist, is not her real father. When he dies, she begins to make her own way in the world and searches for traces of her mother, who died not long after she was born. She becomes a paid companion to Geraldine, a temperamental and wealthy young invalid girl who is under the guardianship of her debonair bachelor uncle, Adrian Hope-Winter. When Adrian proposes marriage, Peridot accepts, never dreaming that she will become a star player in a celebrated and scandalous divorce case or that she will become a pioneer for women entering the workforce.  Rich with very visible and real characters and an accurate portrayal of life in the Victorian Age.  With charming end-chapter illustrations by Philip Gough.