Blankman weaves religion, science, literary genius, poetry, and romance into a mystery that, if solved, could turn the world upside down.
Elizabeth serves as amanuensis for her father, John Milton, who was blinded by a chemical purported to make the dead live. When King Charles II’s henchmen burst into the Milton home, burn the incomplete manuscript of Paradise Lost, and imprison the writer in London, Elizabeth leaves home to save her father and his magnum opus. Joined by Italian Antonio Viviani, and later by Robert Crofts, the bastard son of the king, Elizabeth recovers Paradise Lost from her memory and unearths clues in the poem that she uses to attempt to save her father. This work of historical fiction includes historical figures and events such as Galileo and writer Samuel Pepys, the 1666 plague, and the Great Fire of London. Blankman does a masterful job of wrapping fiction around historical facts and making barely possible details seem plausible and real. Although Elizabeth likely has more chutzpah than a Puritan girl of the mid-1600s would have had, readers will enjoy her penchant for activities such as hurling herself out of a moving carriage to escape men with nefarious intentions and jumping from a burning building into the Thames despite being unable to swim.
Like Elizabeth, this story never stands still. Readers will love the journey and learn much on the way. (Historical fiction. 13-18)