Saturday, 15 June 2013

Book Review-The Quietness by Alison Rattle

Title: The Quietness
 Author: Alison Rattle
Series:  N/A
Published:  7 March 2013 by Hot Key Books
Length: 282 pages
Warnings: rape,
Source: publisher
Other info:  Alison has written other nonfiction stuff. This is her first YA novel.
Summary : When fifteen-year-old Queenie escapes from the squalid slums of nineteenth-century London, she has no idea about the dangers of the dark world she is about to become embroiled in. Initially thrilled at being taken on as a maid for the seemingly respectable Waters sisters, Queenie comes to realise that something is very wrong with the dozens of strangely silent babies being 'adopted' into the household.
Meanwhile, lonely and unloved sixteen-year-old Ellen is delighted when her handsome and charming young cousin Jacob is sent to live with her family. She thinks she has finally found a man to fall in love with and rely on, but when Jacob cruelly betrays her she finds herself once again at the mercy of her cold-hearted father. Soon the girls' lives become irrevocably entwined.

Review: Queenie is a girl who has lived life in the slums of London. Ellen is a girl who has not.  Both long to escape their families, and by doing so, become closer together, uncovering secrets that will make huge differences in their lives.
I’ve never heard of baby farms before. The author’s note explains her research and thinking and it’s definitely an interesting side for after reading the novel. Essentially, if a woman, often high class, becomes pregnant, and can’t afford to due to her social standing, she’ll go to a baby farm who’ll take it off her. scary stuff when you think about what could happen to that baby. It’s also interesting that this was based on true events kind of.
Queenie and Ellen are both really good characters. I preferred Queenie because she had a bit more drive and initiation to her. Mrs Ellis and Mrs Swift were villains that made this story work well. Jacob, I was eh-eh about him, and then he did what he did and I felt the need  to punch him in the face.  Mary was a really nice supporting character.
The plot was predictable in parts, but still really enjoyable. I got really invested in the story of the two girls, and just had to keep on reading to find out what happened and what would happen next. The order in which we learn things  is logical and keeps you engaged.
It switches between third person on Queenie and first person from Ellen. I preferred the first person for understanding the characters, but even with the third person, we got a good look at Queenie and everything else.
The ending was sudden and sad. The epilogue sweetened things a bit but still. Pain.

Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a book with two strong heroines and a really intriguing plot.

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Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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