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At the Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary…

At the Sign of the Sugared Plum (original 2003; edition 2003)

by Mary Hooper

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2571244,496 (3.95)17
Title:At the Sign of the Sugared Plum
Authors:Mary Hooper
Info:Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2003), Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library, To read, Children's/YA Books
Tags:Fiction, Children's, TBR

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At the Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper (2003)

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    wegc: Both are about an epidemic moving ever closer while the main character gets on with life in spite of looming disaster.
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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Eager to get to London, where her older sister Sarah runs a small sweetmeats shop called "The Sugared Plum," and where she hopes to see all the wonders of the great metropolis - the grand buildings, and warren-like labyrinth of streets; the lords and ladies in their fashionable attire - young country-girl Hannah is oblivious to all the warnings signs along the way, from the cryptic remarks of Farmer Price, to the graveyard funeral "games" of the children she passes. She is dismayed to learn, upon arriving, that Sarah - having written to ask her not to come - is less than overjoyed to see her. For the year is 1665, and the Great Plague has come to London, hanging over the city like a grim cloud, and bringing with it the specters of mass suffering and death...

A vividly realized work of historical fiction for younger readers, At the Sign of the Sugared Plum drew me immediately into its world, and never let go! Mary Hooper does an excellent job capturing the "feeling" of London in 1665, and what it must have seemed like, to a young country girl seeing it for the first time. I appreciated the fact that Hannah isn't presented as some kind of paragon - she's interested in fashion, and frets about her red hair and freckles (reminding me of Anne of Green Gables a bit) - but rather, as an ordinary young girl, interested in ordinary things (like getting her first kiss!), and that this is neither the point of the story, nor a problematic aspect of it. This adds to the sense of realism, the feeling that this is a real young girl, caught up in a terrible time.

And what a terrible time it was! The horror of the Plague - its inexorable spread through the city, from one parish to the next; and the unimaginable suffering it caused, with the ill being walled up inside their houses, before being dumped in mass graves - is captured here, in a narrative that is both poignant and disquieting. Highly recommended to all young readers who enjoy works of historical fiction! I've already requested the sequel, Petals in the Ashes, from my library. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 9, 2013 |
Short but gripping story about a young girl who goes to London to help her sister in her sweetshop and gets caught up in the Great Plague of 1665. Though this is aimed at younger readers (it was a Kindle daily deal that caught my eye some time last year), it pulls no punches in its descriptions of the horrors and heartbreak that families and communities suffered at that time. Very good. 5/5 ( )
  john257hopper | Jun 24, 2013 |
Loved it. Young Adult historical novels are one of my favorite genres. ( )
  pidgeon92 | Apr 1, 2013 |
I really liked this one. It follows the story of a young girl, Hannah, who moves to London in 1665, just as the plague is taking hold of the city. Hannah and her sister Sarah are both fun and witty characters with a close relationship. They were easy to relate to and easy to care about. The book itself was compelling and the whole time I was very eager to find out how things would end. The book is also obviously very well researched which added to my enjoyment and appreciation of it. ( )
  nicola26 | Mar 30, 2013 |
This is a young adult/middle school book. Hannah travels to London in 1665 to help her sister, Sarah, run a sweetmeats shop. Shortly after arriving she realizes that the bubonic plague has begun to take hold in the poorer areas of the city. Slowly the plague travels throughout all of London, until Hannah and Sarah find nearby houses being shut up and neighbors dying.

I found this book to be utterly fascinating. Sarah and Hannah were well developed characters and the plot line moved at a good pace. Overall, I think that teenage girls would appreciate the book more than teenage boys, purely because of the in depth discussion of making sweetmeats and fashion. I highly enjoyed this book and will recommend it to others. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Feb 24, 2012 |
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To tell the truth, I was rather glad to get away from Farmer Price and his rickety old cart.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0747561249, Paperback)

'You be going to live in the city, Hannah?' Farmer Price asked, pushing his battered hat up over his forehead. 'Wouldn' t think you'd want to go there Times like this, I would have thought your sister would try and keep you away.' Hannah is oblivious to Farmer Price's dark words, excited as she is about her first ever trip to London to help her sister in her shop 'The Sugared Plum', making sweetmeats for the gentry. Hannah does not however get the reception she expected from her sister Sarah. Instead of giving Hannah a hearty welcome, Sarah is horrified that Hannah did not get her message to stay away - the Plague is taking hold of London. Based on much research, Mary Hooper tellingly conveys how the atmosphere in London changes from a disbelief that the plague is anything serious, to the full-blown horror of the death carts and being locked up - in effect to die - if your house is suspected of infection. A brilliant new departure from this best-selling author. "Mary Hooper is another writer to watch" The Independent

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:54 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

It is 1665 and Hannah is full of excitment at the prospect of moving to London to help her sister Sarah in her sweetmeats shop. But bubonic plague is taking hold of London and Hannah's excitment soon turns to terror as the unstoppable plague spreads throughout the city. Includes recipes for seventeenth century sweetmeats. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.… (more)

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