SEARCH OF THE MOON KING’S DAUGHTER by Linda Holeman

SEARCH OF THE MOON KING’S DAUGHTER

Age Range: 12 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Dickensian novel reveals the horrors of 19th-century life in England. Emmaline’s father reads Ivanhoe and Sense and Sensibility to her, but her mother is an illiterate with a tendency to drink, and if Emmaline’s aunt is to be believed, a woman of loose morals. Emmaline’s father dies of cholera and her mother is forced to work in a mill. Emmaline’s sewing skills allow her a relatively cushy job with her wealthy aunt. Life is bad, but at least they are together. But when mother’s hand is mangled in an accident at the mill, her addiction to opium-laced pain medication drives her to sell Emmaline’s brother, Tommy, into servitude as a chimney sweep. Desperate to get Tommy back, Emmaline ventures to London, finds work, wins the admiration of her elderly employer by reading Wordsworth aloud to him, locates Tommy, and gains financial independence when her employer bequeaths to her two valuable antiquarian books. Clichés abound, including the kind employer’s evil son who impregnates the scullery maid and then cold-heartedly abandons her to a nasty workhouse fate. Yet readers will be drawn in by Emmaline’s determined quest for her little brother and the budding romance between Emmaline and young Thomas, whose commitment to books makes him a good match for Emmaline. The deus ex machina conclusion is no more far-fetched than a typical Dickens dénouement. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 2002
ISBN: 0-88776-592-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Tundra
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2002