Author: Mary Hooper
Series: Stand Alone
Published: November 13th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: Velvet is a laundress in a Victorian steam laundry. With both her mother and father dead, she is an orphan and has to rely upon her own wits to make a living. The laundry's work is back-breaking 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 to work for her. Velvet is dazzled at first by the young yet beautifully dressed and bejewelled Madame. But soon Velvet realises that Madame Savoya is not all that she says she is, and Velvet's very life is in danger ..
I Give This ....
I really have to be honest and say that I must not have read the book description accurately when I requested this book. I think I saw the name Mary Hooper (who I've wanted to read) and Victorian age and just jumped. I'm sure if I had really noticed that this focuses around spiritualism, I might not have been so eager to read it.
The only thing that kept me reading once I realized what this book was about was Velvet. Her background was intriguing. I admired her strength to survive because it couldn't have been easy to go from being provided for to having to get by on your own. I was surprised at her own actions when her father died. It may have made her feel incredibly guilty, but he made it easy to walk away. The only flaw was that she was so eager to step up in the world she completely turned a blind eye to Madame Savoya and to George (her partner). I know in this time period, it was far to easy to believe that mediums were real. But, I kept wanting her to see the truth. And that is why I kept reading.
So my dislike of this book completely lies in the spiritualism aspect. Which really does not make it fair to this book. I liked the style, the writing, and our lead character. But for some reason, spiritualism just rubs me the wrong way. I hate the idea that they were tricking people out of their money, especially when it came to lonely rich widows. I dislike that each medium came up with new tricks to outdo their competitors. I especially disliked some of the tactics that Madame Savoya pulls in this book. She's a downright nasty women.
That being said, I will still read another book by Mary Hooper. I have my eye on another series of hers. I will however, try to stay as far away from books were spiritualism is the focus from now on.