Velvet’s job in a steam laundry is arduous, but since she is alone in the world following the deaths of her parents, the money she earns keeps a meagre roof over her head. When Velvet starts washing the clothes of a society medium, Madame Savoya, she is surprised to be offered a life-changing job as lady’s maid in her household.
Velvet is glad to leave the poverty and sadness of her old life behind and initially embraces her work, happily assisting at her mistress’s séances. However, soon Velvet begins to question the reality of Madame Savoya’s ability to communicate with the spirit world and in expressing her doubts, inadvertently places herself in grave danger.
This novel engagingly depicts the Victorian fascination with spiritualism and also paints a vivid picture of life for a working class girl in this era.