- Taschenbuch: 336 Seiten
- Verlag: Bloomsbury Publishing (1. September 2011)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0747599211
- ISBN-13: 978-0747599210
- Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: 12 - 15 Jahre
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,8 x 2,6 x 21,4 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 669.916 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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Velvet (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. September 2011
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Hooper's storylines pack a 21st-century punch . . . Historical fiction worthy of the genre -- Amanda Foreman * New York Times * Praise for Velvet: Powerfully plotted . . . almost a teen version of Sarah Waters' Affinity with a bit of Jacqueline Wilson's Hetty Feather thrown in * Independent on Sunday * Praise for Fallen Grace: `By any standards, an exceptional novel . . . the gift for taking historical situations and making them emotionally engaging is far too rare . . . after six historical novels, this one is Hooper's breakthrough and its characterisation, plotting and atmosphere are first-rate and deserve prizes . . . Not since Philip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke has there been such a gorgeous evocation of Victorian life - or so satisfying a conclusion' * Amanda Craig, The Times * 'This wonderfully atmospheric story, set in Victorian London, will draw in teenage girls with its blend of sadness, hardship and redemption . . . A sensitive and tautly-plotted novel, intelligently told' * Daily Mail *
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Mary Hooper is a very popular writer for children and young adults. Her brilliant historical novels have a huge fan base, as do her contemporary novels for teenagers. At The Sign of the Sugared Plum was selected as part of the 2010 Booked Up scheme and Fallen Grace has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2011. Mary lives in Henley-on-Thames.
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The blurb calls this book "romantic" and "thrilling." The fact is, this book is neither.
Honestly, I was expecting so much more from this book. The premise was interesting, and Mary Hooper is an established historical fiction writer. Sadly, this book plays on too many historical fiction cliches that bother the heck out of me.
The first problem is the way the book was written. I have no idea why so many historical fiction books think they need to ramble on like historical pieces of the times. Yes, I understand there is certain language you can and cannot use when writing in historical periods, but we've cut out the rambling in modern day books for a reason. This is certainly a personal thing as well, since I prefer all unneccesary words to be cut, but still. It bothers me, and it made me iffy about the book from the get go.
The second was the characters. Apart from Madame Savoya, they were all pretty flat and generic. Velvet annoyed me especially, since she had the potential to be such a strong main character, but then fell into the utterly gullible and naive cliche. She toyed with Charlie (a boy from her past who is inexplicably smitten with her even though she brushes him off at every turn), with whom there was NO connection of any real kind, no matter how much they protested there was, and then she was completely taken in by both Madame Savoya and George, her assistant.
The kicker came with the ending-or rather, the lack thereof. I hit the button on my Kindle for the next slide and NOPE. Nothing. I literally couldn't believe it. Looking back on those two pages or so, I guess they do suggest an ending, but it's NOT a finished one. Not by a long shot. The climax is a brief and abrupt thing, then all of the sudden you have TWO pages of falling action and that's just it. Note that when I say two pages, I'm talking for the screens of my small-as-possible Kindle. I'm not sure if this would even make two pages of book. Before this I was thinking of opimistically giving the book 3 stars, but this just killed the book for me.
I will say, however, that the idea continued to impress me all throughout the story. The intrigue that Hooper worked in was basic at times, but the entire setting-mediumship, etc-was really enjoyable and interesting. I learned a lot both about the real ideas of spiritualism and about how all the hoaxers got away with what they did. This is basically the thread that kept me reading.
I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but I LOVE the genre. Maybe my standards for what I do read is a little too high, but this book just fell way short of all of them. I wanted so much more from the book, but I found the standard writing style, flat characters and an ending-that-wasn't. Most of my frustration comes from the fact that I believed this book could be so much more. Hooper has a fantastic idea, but the execution just didn't fit.
The only thing that kept me reading once I realized what this book was about was Velvet. Her background was intriguing. I admired her strength to survive because it couldn't have been easy to go from being provided for to having to get by on your own. I was surprised at her own actions when her father died. It may have made her feel incredibly guilty, but he made it easy to walk away. The only flaw was that she was so eager to step up in the world she completely turned a blind eye to Madame Savoya and to George (her partner). I know in this time period, it was far to easy to believe that mediums were real. But, I kept wanting her to see the truth. And that is why I kept reading.
So my dislike of this book completely lies in the spiritualism aspect. Which really does not make it fair to this book. I liked the style, the writing, and our lead character. But for some reason, spiritualism just rubs me the wrong way. I hate the idea that they were tricking people out of their money, especially when it came to lonely rich widows. I dislike that each medium came up with new tricks to outdo their competitors. I especially disliked some of the tactics that Madame Savoya pulls in this book. She's a downright nasty women.
That being said, I will still read another book by Mary Hooper. I have my eye on another series of hers. I will however, try to stay as far away from books were spiritualism is the focus from now on.