There is a real art in writing a story in 80 pages which is satisfying, tells a real tale and leaves the reader feeling complete, and this is one such example. Mary Hooper is an accomplished writer of historical fiction and this story of a girl who gets caught up in the trade of the body snatchers showcases her skill. Georgina, an orphan is taken on as a kitchen maid in the 19th century. She finds life difficult between the boot boy’s cruel teasing and the lecherous behaviour of the son of the house who has already got one maid into trouble. Seeing an advertisement for help in a clothing shop Georgina decides to become George and flees early one morning. Getting the job is one thing but find out that the owner is involved in body snatching – digging up bodies from their graves, stealing anything they can from the body, and then selling the bodies for medical study, presents her with a difficult decision. She meets Anna, who appears to be blind and helps her escape a beating from her father. The story ends with Georgina and the not so blind girl escaping for a new life away from London.
Georgina’s plight highlights the difficulties girls faced as servants in this period, and is beautifully written and produced with lovely end papers and decorations at the bottom of each page, making it a lovely book to hold. The story ends with George and Anna having to come clean about their various deceptions and builds for a sequel – hopefully!
The story matter does make this for the 13+ end of this age range, and because of this would be good not only for a dyslexic reader but for a less able reader too.