AT THE SIGN OF THE SUGARED PLUM by Mary Hooper

AT THE SIGN OF THE SUGARED PLUM

Age Range: 12 - 15

KIRKUS REVIEW

A sometimes graphic tale of London in the plague-ridden summer of 1665, as seen through the eyes of a newly arrived country girl. Hannah is thrilled to be in the big city, and her excitement takes a long time to fade as she throws herself into the work of helping her big sister Sarah run a confectionary while mooning over Tom, a friendly apprentice apothecary. While food and fashion engage her attention, however, church bells begin tolling for the dead, the king and upper crust flee the city, and the tally of victims mounts. Business drops off too, until the sisters concoct an herbal plague “remedy” that at least tastes better than the many others being hawked. Hannah’s outlook changes at last when the disease begins taking her friends, and when a chance comes to escape the city with a baby who is the sole survivor of a well-to-do household, she and Sarah take it. Though Hannah’s too shallow a character to convey the epidemic’s terror effectively, readers will get a vivid picture of London’s dirt and bustle, as well as generous dollops of herb and flower lore—supplemented by closing notes, a glossary, and even recipes. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-58234-849-9
Page count: 167pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2003




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