Thursday 16 February 2012

Book Review - Sapphire Battersea

Title: Sapphire Battersea
Author: Jacqueline Wilsone
Series: Hetty Feather (book 2)
Publisher: Doubleday Childrens
Release Date: 29 Sep 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0385618922

A fascinating, funny and moving Victorian-era novel featuring Hetty Feather.

Hetty Feather is a Foundling Hospital girl and was given her name when she was left there as a baby by her mother. But she always longed to be called Sapphire, after her sapphire-blue eyes. When she is reunited with her mother, she hopes her new name, Sapphire Battersea, will also mean a new life! But life doesn't always go as planned...

Follow the twists and turns of Hetty's adventure as she goes out to work as a maid for a wealthy man. She longs to be reunited with her childhood sweetheart Jem - but also finds a new sweetheart, Bertie the butcher's boy, who whisks her away from her household chores to experience the delights of the funfair!

But Hetty's life may also take a darker path. Can she cope with the trials ahead?

My Review
I read Hetty Feather last week after a recommendation from one of the girls at my Diving group. She also told me to read Sapphire Battersea, but at the time I didn't realise they were connected. When I finished Hetty Feather I was disappointed that the story hadn't finished but then I looked up this one and found it was the second one in what will be a trilogy, so of course I had to request it to read.
I started this in my lunch break today, I had the evening in so when I got home from work I sat down to continue and read for just an hour, well 2 hours later I had finished the entire book. I just couldn't make myself put it down. I was swept up in Hetty's world and couldn't leave.
This book carries on right where book 1 finishes, Hetty is now 14 and getting ready to leave the Children's Foundling hospital, fully trained and ready to go into work as a servant, she doesn't want the life of a servant but she knows it's the only way to stay close to her mother. However just before she leaves her mother is discovered and sent away, alone again Hetty fears what will become of her.
She is set up in a good position as a house maid to a well known author. As a budding writer herself Hetty has ideas of grandeur, sure he will see her talent and take her under his wing, but life is never that simple for Hetty.
When things go wrong she is on her own again, her life is a confusion and she must deal with conflicted love, loss and self discovery. 
In this book you meet Bertie the Butchers boy, although he can seem a little bit simple, he has a great heart and a good sense of humour and as he lights up Hetty's world, he seems to light up the page too, I couldn't help but like him.
I though Jem would feature more in this book but apart from a quick glimpse and some letters he is still absent, i am hoping he will come back in book 3, but i'm also sort of hoping that he has changed and Hetty doesn't end up with him, but that's just personal preference. 
The setting is well researched and clear, I could visualize the entire place throughout.
A thoroughly enjoyable book by Wilson, I know I am really too old for these books now, but there is a certain charm about them that makes them a pleasure to read. Some of her work is a bit samey and predictable but this one has a freshness to it.
Definitely worth a read.

My Rating

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