Camilla Doherty Wootton Hall

Camilla Doherty has been a writer and editor for over a decade. After graduating from Oxford University with a degree in English language and literature she tried out corporate life at Unilever. Narrowly avoiding death by spreadsheet, she left to study fashion design at Central Saint Martins. From there she moved into fashion and lifestyle journalism, working for a variety of brands including Net-a-Porter and Harper’s Bazaar. She lives in Bath with her husband and two children. Camilla was awarded a distinction for her MA manuscript. 

Childhood friends Ana and Laura are toughing out their twenties. Ana is saddled with debt; Laura is a midwife and single mother to seven-year-old Taj. When Ana is hired to tutor the youngest son of Lord Beaumont she becomes embroiled in a world of power and lies. Meanwhile, Laura is involved in a tragic incident at work. Her testimony threatens the establishment, who do all they can to blame her. As their problems escalate, Ana stumbles upon compromising information about the Beaumonts and decides to use it to help her friend; an act that will reverberate for years to come. 

In this extract Laura, a midwife, has started her shift on the labour ward. Her patient is close to giving birth, but Laura has been unable to find the baby’s heartbeat.