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The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey

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‘Brilliantly summons up one girl’s life, dreams and suffering. It’s ingenious history writing’ Mail on Sunday 1910, Wellington, New Zealand. Lydia Harvey is sixteen, working long hours for low pay, when a glamorous couple invite her to Buenos Aires. She accepts – and disappears. London, England. Amid a global panic about sex trafficking, detectives are tracking a ring of international criminals when they find a young woman on the streets of Soho who might be the key to cracking the whole case. As more people are drawn into Lydia’s life and the trial at the Old Bailey, the world is being reshaped into a new, global era. Choices are being made – about who gets to cross borders, whose stories matter and what justice looks like – that will shape the next century. In this immersive account, historian Julia Laite traces Lydia Harvey through the fragments she left behind to build an extraordinary story of aspiration, exploitation and survival – and one woman trying to build a life among the forces of history.