He kicked and struggled as his sister was carried out through the shallow water to one of the boats. The distance between them seemed to stretch out and out. There was nothing he could do. He cried out to her, his voice hoarse with tears, ‘I will find you! I promise!'
London, 1820: Nineteen-year-old Mercy, the orphaned daughter of an African prince, has come to live with the well-to-do Dr Stephens and his wife, Catherine, a passionate campaigner for the abolition of slavery.
Mercy throws herself into Catherine's work, eager to help until – at an exhibition that has all of London talking – one particular painting makes a disturbing impression on her: conjuring vivid images of creaking wood and the screams of drowning people. Its effect on Dr Stephens is even stronger – a connection that seems almost personal.
Meanwhile, Mat, a young black sailor, scours the city in search of the men who kidnapped his sister many years before. When his path crosses with Mercy's and he realises the girl he has been mourning is alive, it sets events in motion that will destroy everything Mercy thought was true about her old life – and her new one.
But as the names on Mat's list are found dead, one after the other, the newly reunited siblings face a new danger. Someone is silencing all witnesses to the horrors of their past – and they could be next. But Mercy has had enough of secrets. She will have justice – no matter what the cost.
An utterly gripping and powerful novel about family, secrets, identity, and risking everything to be true to yourself. If you liked The Foundling, The Miniaturist or Amy Snow, you will love Daughter of the Shipwreck.