Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Review (Yay!) - Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson

Hetty Feather book coverTitle: Hetty Feather.

Author: Jacqueline Wilson.

Genre: Kids, Historical Fiction.

Series: Hetty Feather (#1).

Amazon: UK - USA.



A few starting notes:

Any British female (and hopefully quite a few males,) under 30 will have heard of Jacqueline Wilson. The vast majority will have read at least one of her many, many, books.

Hetty Feather is probably suitable for kids aged 10 or 11 and up. It's also more than suitable for teens and adults - good books don't require limits.


Premise:

Hetty Feather is a Victorian foundling. Her little life is not meant to be anything grand - but Hetty, a bright girl with a skill for 'picturing' - is not overly-keen to resign herself to her lot.


Best bits:

Hetty is a great character - part Matilda and part Jane Eyre, with a dash of Oliver Twist for luck. She's a fantastic little fire-brand, and the first-person narrative creates a lot of empathy with her.

Her relationship with an early foster family, particularly foster brother Jem, provides a real heart (and real heart-break) for the book - as does the slow dissolve of many of her childhood dreams. It's not over-done, leaves some room for hope, and is really quite beautiful.

The writing is mature enough to please adults, but not too complex for a kid to understand. The prose is pretty damn good.


Not so great bits:

There are things that may be upsetting to some here, the book doesn't shy away from the realities of the time: physical punishment, child death, poverty, and the implication of attempted child abduction. It's all handled pretty well, but younger readers in particular may find some parts distressing.

I personally didn't like the infancy parts - I know Hetty's supposed to be quite fanciful, but the first-person accounts of being a baby are just a little too unbelievable in my opinion.


Verdict:

I really enjoyed this book - I think it's excellent. Fans of Jane Eyre or Matilda will love it, and I think adults will be captivated (I know I was!)

Honestly, this was a fab book, highly entertaining, and certainly worthy of praise.






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