Monday, August 27, 2012

Bibliophile's Corner

Alchemy and Meggy Swann
by Karen Cushman

Flap Copy Description:
"Ye Toads and Vipers!"
Thus says Meggy Swann, newly come to London from the country village where she was raised. She's not happy to be there, and why should she be? Her mother was glad to see the back of her. Her father, who sent for her, doesn't want her after all. The city is awash in dirt and muck, teeming with thieves and rogues, and very weary to walk around in - especially for Meggy.
She is the alchemist's daughter, though. Just as her father seeks to transform base metal into gold, Meggy sets out to change her condition for the better. In doing so, she finds herself to be braver and stronger and friendlier than she ever thought possible, and a competent rhymer as well.
Earthy and colorful, everyday life in Elizabethan London has its dark side - but it also has gifts in store for witty, sharp-tongued Meggy Swann.

My Thoughts:
Karen Cushman is a Newbery Medal winner and a master storyteller of historical fiction - Alchemy and Meggy Swann is another glorious example of her talent. Set in Elizabethan England; the sights, sounds, and smells of London remarkably come to life in this beautiful book. The protagonist, Meggy, is beset with severe challenges in her life - both physically and emotionally; this old world tale skillfully reveals to the reader the young girl's surprising and wondrous transformation. Ms. Cushman weaves a story of betrayal, abandonment, greed, and possible murder to which Meggy Swann confronts with strength and spunk. I would highly recommend Alchemy and Meggy Swann to readers from the ages of eight to eighty!

To learn more about the author, Karen Cushman, click here: http://www.karencushmanbooks.com/about/bio.html

11 comments:

  1. Meggy sounds like a great character who works to overcome her challenges. The story itself seems like a diverse world to dive into. I enjoy stories set in Elizabethan England. It's a time period that's not quite as explored as the Victorian era, so this story seems to be a treat :-)

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    1. Brandi - It was so beautifully written that I felt like I was seeing an historical film in my mind. Thanks!

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  2. You had me at witty and sharp tongued. Meggy sounds like a great MC. Thanks so much for the review, Victoria!

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    1. You're so right about the MC, Ruth - she's one of the best I've read in quite a while. Thanks!

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  3. Added it to my list, Victoria. For someone who hated History in school, I sure do love historical fiction. :)

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    1. I've actually spent some time pondering why it is that I like historical fiction so much; I decided that the true elements in those stories give a rich sense of believability. Thanks, Linda!

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  4. Ah, this sounds like a wonderful book, both for the conflict, and the concept of transforming one's life. You certainly piqued my interest!

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  5. I love a good story that brings a place alive.

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    1. Thanks, Lynda. Karen Cushman makes it look so easy. She's a great inspiration. Take care ~

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