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Velvet
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Velvet
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Velvet is a laundress in a Victorian steam laundry. With both her mother and father dead, she has to rely upon her own wits to make a living. The laundry is scalding, back-breaking work and Velvet is...
Velvet is a laundress in a Victorian steam laundry. With both her mother and father dead, she has to rely upon her own wits to make a living. The laundry is scalding, back-breaking work and Velvet is...
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Description-

  • Velvet is a laundress in a Victorian steam laundry. With both her mother and father dead, she has to rely upon her own wits to make a living. The laundry is scalding, back-breaking work and Velvet is desperate to create a better life for herself. Then Velvet is noticed by Madame Savoya, a famed medium, who asks Velvet to come work for her. Velvet is dazzled at first by the young yet beautifully dressed and bejewelled Madame. But Velvet soon realizes that Madame Savoya is not all that she says she is, and Velvet's very life is in danger . . . A romantic and thrillingly exciting new novel from an acclaimed and much loved historical writer for teens

About the Author-

  • Mary Hooper is a very popular writer for children and young adults. Her brilliant historical novels have a huge fan base, as do her contemporary novels for teenagers. At The Sign of the Sugared Plum was selected as part of the 2010 Booked Up scheme and Fallen Grace has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2011. Mary lives in Henley-on-Thames.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 15, 2012
    Mediums are all the rage in London at the dawn of the 20th century—even Arthur Conan Doyle attends séances. When the mysterious Madame Savoya plucks teenage Velvet Groves from her grueling job at a laundry, Velvet is thrilled. The work is easier, Madame is as kind as she is beautiful, and there seems to be a spark between Velvet and Madame’s handsome assistant, George. Velvet’s only concern is that the spirit of her cruel father—who, Velvet fears, may have a few things to reveal about the night he died—might visit her new employer. Given the author’s background in historical fiction, it’s no surprise that Hooper (Fallen Grace) has a strong handle on the details of the period; the novel’s structure, though, is more problematic. Since Hooper gives readers access to Madame’s private sessions in interludes scattered throughout the novel, they will realize that all is not as it seems long before Velvet does. Velvet’s adventures remain absorbing, but older readers in particular will likely anticipate most of the plot developments. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jodie Marsh, United Agents.

  • Kirkus

    October 1, 2012
    A Victorian teen becomes dangerously ensnared in the sinister world of a fraudulent medium in this well-constructed, thoroughly researched tale set in London in 1900. A "quick and intelligent girl" with no family to support her, Velvet works long hours under dreadful conditions at Ruffold's Steam Laundry. A year ago, Velvet's drunken, abusive father fell into the river while chasing her, and she did nothing to save him. Guarding her guilty secret, Velvet abandoned her old life and childhood beau, fled to London and changed her name. When the famous clairvoyant Madame Savoya hires Velvet, she's thrilled to live in Madame's posh house and quickly develops a crush on Madame's handsome assistant, George. Initially grateful and in awe of Madame's seemingly incredible ability to communicate with spirits of the dead and bring comfort to grieving survivors, Velvet gradually discovers Madame's skills are not all they appear to be. By including descriptions of Madame's private sessions with individual clients, Hooper clues readers in to Madame's fraudulent schemes long before Velvet realizes the appalling truth. Vulnerable and credible, Velvet tries to expose Madame, but not before a shocking revelation. Packed with fascinating period details about the Victorian spiritualist craze, Hooper's suspenseful tale delivers authentic characters, bizarre encounters, plot twists and romance. Intriguing, savory Victorian chiller. (author's note; historical notes; bibliography) (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    November 15, 2012
    Grades 6-10 When wealthy, elegant Madame Savoya rescues Velvet from the oppressive laundry where she works, the young woman can hardly believe her good fortune. Early 1900s London offers few opportunities for poor women trying to support themselves, so for Velvet to be set up in Madame's household to assist with her s'ances seems like a fairy tale come true. Spiritualism is all the rage, and Edwardian Londoners flock to Madame's to try to connect with loved ones on the other side. The trickery behind the medium's methods gradually surfaces, and while Velvet is still awestruck by her good fortune, doubts begin to form, triggered by a stunning plot to bring back the deceased infant of one of the clients. Hooper has penned a lively historic tale, rich with fascinating details of daily life and the spiritualist movement particularly. Best of all is engaging heroine Velvet and her journey of discovery from innocence to hard-nosed reality. Strong characterizations will draw in the reader, and appended historical notes top off the tale nicely.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

  • New York Times for FALLEN GRACE [V]astly superior to its competitors . . . Hooper writes in beautiful 19th-century cadences, but her story lines pack a 21st-century punch. Nothing feels forced or inserted for mere shock value. 'Fallen Grace' has been impeccably researched, and it shows in every paragraph. . . . this is historical fiction worthy of the genre.
  • PW for FALLEN GRACE Readers will be engaged by the twists, turns, and deceits of Grace's rags-to-riches story.
  • Kirkus Reviews on FALLEN GRACE Hooper...packs her brisk Dickensian fable with colorful characters and suspenseful, satisfying plot twists.

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    Bloomsbury Publishing
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