Camellia by Lesley Pearse
Camellia Norton is orphaned at fifteen when her mother's body is fished from a river in rural Sussex. And when she discovers a cache of letters amongst her mother's effects she realises that the past she has always been so sure of has been built on a tissue of lies.
Devastated, she runs away to London, and loses herself in a metropolis that offers opportunity, temptation and danger, especially to a young girl hungry for love and acceptance.
But her past won't stay buried forever, and eventually Camellia begins the long journey towards uncovering the truth about her background, and also, ultimately, about herself.