Saturday 11 February 2012

Book Review - Hetty Feather

Title: Hetty Feather
Author: Jacqueline Wilson
Publisher: Yearling
Release Date: 5 Aug 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0440868354

London, 1876. Hetty Feather is just a tiny baby when her mother leaves her at the Foundling Hospital. The Hospital cares for abandoned children - but Hetty must first live with a foster family until she is big enough to go to school.

Life in the countryside is sometimes hard, but with her foster brothers, Jem and Gideon, Hetty helps in the fields and plays vivid imaginary games. Together they sneak off to visit the travelling circus, and Hetty is mesmerised by the show - especially the stunning Madame Adeline and her performing horses.

But Hetty's happiness is threatened once more when she must return to the Foundling Hospital to begin her education. The new life of awful uniforms and terrible food is a struggle for her, and she desperately misses her beloved Jem. But now she has the chance to find her real mother. Could she really be the wonderful Madame Adeline? Or will Hetty find the truth is even more surprising?

My Review
I was out on the Mobile Library Van the other day and finished the book I was reading. Not wanting to sit through my lunch with nothing else to read I scanned the shelves, after reading Lily Alone last week and talking to a girl at my Diving group, i remembered her saying how good this one was and worth a read, so I decided to give it a go. It's been years since reading Wilson, but now I've read 2 in one month. Must be regressing back to my childhood.
The cover of this book also attracted me, i like teh bright yellows and reds and the circus pictures stood out, but i also quite like children's historical books so I thought I would enjoy this one.
Hetty Feather is left at the Foundling Hospital as a baby, brought up by  a foster mother when she turns 6 she must go back to the hospital to be educated and trained to be a servant - the only life waiting for her in the future. She loved her foster family and even fell in love with one of her 'brothers' (obviously not related by blood) and hated the idea of going back, once back at the hospital Hetty must adapt to strict diets, rules and regulations and a whole new way of life. But she refuses to be 'broken' and is determined to hold onto her memories and be something other than a servant, but most of all she wants to find her mother.
Hetty Feather is aimed at older children than Wilson's usual target I think. Hetty has a very hard life and goes through a lot, but it depends on the maturity of the child reading it. 
I personally really enjoyed Hetty Feather, it was a well written story, it's written as if Hetty is talking to you and she is such a vibrant, boisterous character that I really felt like she was here talking to me. I could visualize everything she was telling me and I could really sympathize with her.
The story moves through her life from birth to about 12 I think. The description really is well written and I could see it all. I was routing for Hetty throughout hoping things would work for her. 
Some bits were slightly predictable but others were totally unexpected. I laughed along with Hetty and felt my eyes filling up at times too. I was disappointed by the ending thinking it ended rather abruptly and I have so many questions left unanswered, it almost felt like she had filled her word count and so decided to just stop. But I have since found out that there is a sequel to it called 'Sapphire Battersea' which I have now ordered to read as I want to know what happens next.
Overall a really enjoyable read, the world really comes alive and Hetty becomes a bright spark in a dull, hard world. 

My Rating

1 comment:

Stepping Out of the Page said...

Great review, Becky! I used to read a lot of Jacqueline Wilson's books when I was younger and she was definitely one of my favourite authors. I'm glad you really enjoyed this one. :)

Stephanie @ Stepping Out of the Page
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