|Pages/Publication Date:||336 / 2018|
For Ernest Young, a 12 year old charity student at a boarding school, the chance to go to the World's Fair feels like a gift. But only once he's there, the half-Chinese orphan is astounded to learn he will be raffled off—a healthy boy "to a good home." The winning ticket belongs to the flamboyant madam of a high-class brothel, where Ernest becomes the new houseboy and befriends Maisie, the madam's precocious daughter, and a bold scullery maid named Fahn. Their friendship and affection form the first real family Ernest has ever known, but as the grande dame succumbs to an occupational hazard and their world of finery begins to crumble, all three must grapple with hope, ambition, and first love.