Henry, Lord Downham, and his French wife, Marie-Isabel, have everything except an heir. Henry adores their first-born daughter but longs for a son. Their second child is almost due when Marie-Isabel takes a fateful trip alone into the woods she loves. Caught in a snowstorm and in labour, she takes refuge in Betsy Sweetapple's cottage. Betsy was dismissed by Henry for immoral behaviour. Now Betsy has given birth to a stillborn daughter. Impassively she watches Marie-Isabel die, giving birth to a strong, healthy son. Seeing a chance to avenge imagined wrongs, she swaps babies. Julian, the blackthorn child, is eventually rescued from a hellish childhood but the estate has been vested in his sister's line. The whole truth only emerges on Betsy's death-bed. Can the estate ever be restored to its rightful owner?
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Used availability for Nora Fountain's Blackthorn Child
June 2015 : USA Paperback
June 2011 : Canada, UK Kindle edition