Pauline, Petrova, and Posy have chosen their own last name. They are Fossils, because their Great Uncle Matthew (GUM, for short) discovered them and shipped them home as babies, just as he did the fossils he collected. They were each orphaned separately--that is, they're not natural sisters--but now they live in England, in a nice house, with their Guardian, Sylvia, their Nana, and Cook and Clara (the cook and the maid, respectively). GUM goes on a grand adventure not long after baby Posy joins the family, and he's gone for a very long time. The children all take lessons in dancing and acting, in addition to their regular lessons, and the money GUM set aside for Sylvia is running out.
Sylvia takes in boarders, to help with the money, and eventually, Pauline is old enough to go out on auditions and take parts and to earn money, too.
Okay, so it sounds boring, but actually, this was a pretty delightful read. Or "read", as I listened to it. The girls are each distinct and amusing and endearing. They each have separate talents and interests. The boarders Sylvia takes on are sweet and warm, and eventually, they're much like family. The girls' experiences in the Academy and on the stage and with their friends and family. It is a little bit saccharine, but it also left me grinning. And what more can you ask from a book?