Head of Zeus
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Eleanor and Edward have it all: wealth, status, and a happy marriage. But they’re harbouring a terrible, shameful secret that could destroy their lives. How far are they willing to go to protect their charmed life—even if it means abandoning their child to a horrific fate?  

1928, London. Eleanor Hamilton is happily married and mother to a beautiful four-year-old girl Mabel. Her wealthy husband Edward, a celebrated war hero, is a leading light in the burgeoning Eugenics movement, the very ideas that will soon be embraced by Hitler, and is increasingly important in designing education policy for the nation.

But when Edward and Eleanor’s otherwise perfectly healthy daughter develops debilitating epileptic seizures, their world fractures. Mabel’s shameful illness must be kept a secret or it will jeopardize Edward’s life’s work. They are forced to send Mabel to an epileptic colony where she will be hidden away from society.

When Eleanor discovers Edward has been keeping secrets, and finds strange inconsistencies in her husband’s ground-breaking research, the revelations call into question everything she believed about genetic inferiority. Her previous unshakeable faith in her husband disintegrates. No longer able to bear the separation from her beloved daughter, she takes matters into her own hands. As Eleanor devises a plan to rescue Mabel, she realises that in order to truly move on, she must confront her husband about the deeply dishonourable secrets of his own past.

Exploring the ever-relevant theme of the value we give every human life, and inspired by the author’s personal experience, The Hidden Child spotlights the moral and ethical issues of an era shaped by xenophobia, prejudice, fear and well-intentioned yet flawed science. Vividly rendered, deeply affecting, and impeccably researched, Louise Fein’s new novel is a sweeping, richly drawn portrait of a family torn apart by shame, deceit, and dangerous ideals.

The inspiration for the story came from the experience of the author’s own family of having a very young child who developed a severe seizure disorder, the daily battles to obtain the help and support she needed, and the fear, prejudice and behaviour of others in response.