Where I got it: Library
Rating: 3 stars
Cover Rating: 5 stars (I love it, but I feel like it has nothing to do with the book. Seeing this cover makes me think it's a faerie novel or at least some sort of fantasy.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 11, 2010
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Page Count: 246 p.
Mary Finn is a girl from the country, sent away after her mother died and her father remarried. She gets a job as a maid in London, but soon some of her choices threaten her job and her virtue.
James Nelligan is an orphan who was taken in by a nice family until he was six. When he turned six he had to return to a home for foundlings. There he learns many things as he comes of age though the one thing he really wants to know(who his parents are) my soon be closer than he realizes.
This was a nice historical fiction novel told from four alternating viewpoints. I really enjoyed reading about Mary and James and how there lives were led. At times some of the characters acted or sounded a bit more modern than I thought they should, but the overall tone of the novel was quite 1800s. It was nice discovering the little mysteries and trying to find out how the four people may or may not be connected. Mary has to take care of her(very young) other siblings after her mother dies, so it was disheartening to see her driven from her home by(yet another) wicked stepmother. Also, I do wish more had happened with Oliver. He seemed very nice, but not a lot happens to anyone in this novel I suppose. Not to say that the characters aren't developed, they just could have been developed further. Mary and James seem to be much more developed than the other two narrators Oliver and Eliza. This was a nice read and if you enjoy historical fiction then you should try it out. It was a very brief read, but it was an enjoyable one nonetheless.
"I began exceeding ignorant, apart from what a girl can learn through family mayhem, a dead mother, a grim stepmother and a sorrowful parting from home."
"I woke up blinding dizzy, with some quick and wily rodent darting about my belly."
(really I just love the word wily... wily wily wily ;)