After the death of her mother in 19th-century Paris, resourceful thirteen-year-old Perrine experiences a Robinson Crusoe-like existence in a secret hut and life as a factory girl as she walks over one hundred miles to locate the only relative in a position to help her.
Perrine, a young girl, is orphaned at the age of twelve, and her mother's last words are for her to find members of her father's family and make them love her for herself before revealing her identity. She experiences hunger, poverty, and manages to take care of herself through determination and creativity. Finding work in her grandfather's factory without revealing her identity, she curbs impulsiveness and virtuously works hard while gratefully receiving only enough to live on, not expecting riches.
Variously translated into English as Nobody's Girl and as The Adventures of Perrine.