Eerdmans, 2009 (2009)
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Reviewed by Deb Kincaid
ondon author Mark Barratt is a masterful storyteller who crafts a suspenseful Dickensian tale. Well-drawn depictions of London's underbelly in the 1860s combine with the author's intimate knowledge of the period's lower-class society norms and culture to create a rich sensory landscape. In it, he places
and Bess: Joe, a
(sewer scrap salvager), and Bess, the daughter of a down-on-his-luck farmer. They discover they have more in common than they think, and wind up helping each other.
his is a story of a boy yearning to escape his wretched state - as well as the clutches of
, a crime boss. Bess's mother has plans for her as well. Bess thinks she's going to London to be a servant in a prestigious home, but her mother has deceived both Bess and her father. A nasty gang under Mother's control; a madman who screams out in the night; and a shady crook in cahoots with Bess's mom, are a few of the powerful characters challenging Joe and Bess.
is a compelling,
book. Highly recommended.
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