Ellen Baker

Ellen Baker

The Hidden Life of Cecily Larson

Mariner Books

An immersive, compelling, and entertaining family drama centered around one remarkable woman and her determination to survive.

In 1924, 4-year-old Cecily Larson’s mother drops her off at an orphanage promising to be back once she can support them. She never returns. After high-spirited Cecily turns 7, she is sold to a traveling circus and finally feels she has the family she craves. But as the years go by, the cracks in her little world begin to show. When teenage Cecily falls in love with a young roustabout, she finds her life thrown onto an entirely unexpected and dangerous course.


In 2015, Cecily is 94 and living a quiet life. But when her family decides to surprise her with an at-home DNA test, the unexpected results not only bring to light the tragic love story that Cecily had kept hidden but also throw into question everything about the family she’s raised and claimed as her own. Cecily and everyone in her life must now decide who they are and what family—and forgiveness—really mean.

“I immensely enjoyed this sweeping, heartrending, emotional roller coaster of a tale.”
—Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author