In her Authorgraph interview for Books for Keeps, Julia Golding names The Little Princess as one of her favourite books as a child. There are definite echoes of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel in her latest excellent historical adventure which features an orphaned girl, newly arrived from India, and soon left penniless and exposed to tyrannical treatment from adults. Sahira Clive sets sail for England with her parents – English father and Indian mother – escorting two tigers to the menagerie in the Tower of London. When her parents die of fever, the tigers become her only friends, and she quickly realises that London is just as much of a jungle as their original home. Despite the prejudice and cruelty she encounters, Sahira faces down the bullies, ‘they didn’t realize she was a tiger, not some stray dog they could intimidate’, confident always in the knowledge that ‘they haven’t met anyone like me before.’ It’s true too: with a head full of poetry, an acute understanding of how people operate, and a fierce determination, Sahira finds ways to protect her tigers and herself. As with the best adventures, it’s touch and go though, and for a while it seems that she might be defeated, until she is finally saved by the grandfather she thought had abandoned her. Nineteenth century London is sharply described, both diverse and narrow, and characters making cameo appearances in the story include the Duke of Wellington, the then Prime Minister, and Robert Peel; but it’s Sahira herself who really makes this special and readers will gasp and thrill at her adventures, and burn too at the injustice meted out to her and other vulnerable young people.
https://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/tigers.jpg 277 182 bookskeeps http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png bookskeeps2020-11-02 14:34:002021-02-25 14:37:12The Tigers in the Tower