Hello, Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson
Sixteen-year-old Estella is an orphan living on the streets of London in the 1960’s. She lives with two sleight-of-hand con artists in the crumbling remains of an abandoned building. The trio’s principal source of income is derived from carefully planned and brilliantly executed pickpocketing. These lifters are masters of their craft. But Estelle is more than a common thief.
Her passion is fashion. She designs and constructs stunning one-of-a-kind styles. This clever seamstress scouts high-end establishments for luxurious fabrics, furs, lace, and elegant accessories. With the help of her accomplices, she nicks the best materials and takes them back to the sewing machine in her grimy little hovel. The resulting ensembles are amazing.
Estelle has a dark secret. There is another personality residing inside this resourceful girl-of-the-streets. It’s Cruella, a vicious and spiteful evil twin who occasionally pops into her head offering diabolical suggestions. Usually Estelle can keep Cruella in check by saying to her alter ego “Thank you for coming, but you may go now.”