The Polkingtons are clinging on to the last shreds of Edwardian middle-class respectability. Want of money, and even greater want of a moral compass, mean that their social standing is constantly under threat. Advantageous marriages seem like the only way out for the Polkington daughters; Julia, the middle daughter, is neither pretty nor biddable, and much too clever to lose her independence. Instead, she takes advantage of a family financial crisis to escape her social circle entirely. Working as a housekeeper in the Netherlands, Julia schemes to repay a debt of her father's by stealing a bulb of the rare, precious blue daffodil. Instead, she gets caught up in a scandal that threatens not only her respectable name but also her ability to repay her debt of honour. Julia's bravery, intelligence and humour charm the reader into willing her to succeed in her sometimes dubious plots and adventures. This edition includes an introduction by Kate Macdonald.
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