Child of Sin by Meg Hutchinson
Agnes Ridley has a cruel tongue and a heart of stone: when she discovers housemaid Lizzie Burton has fallen pregnant, she turns her out with only the clothes on her back. If it weren t for loyal Debbie, who follows her friend into exile, Lizzie would be friendless as well as destitute.The girls are blessed when they meet big-hearted Sadie Trent, who takes them in and cherishes them like her own. But even Sadie cannot protect the girls from the vicious malice of Abe Turley, who is determined to take his pleasure - and then his revenge; and from sinister Fleur Masson, who hides an evil trade behind the respectable facade of a fashion house. After such tribulations, can there ever be true happiness for a child of sin?