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A Drowned Maiden's Hair: A Melodrama by…
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A Drowned Maiden's Hair: A Melodrama

by Laura Amy Schlitz

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If you loved Frances Hodgson Burnett's _A Little Princess_, you'll find this book even more charming, engrossing, and moving, largely because of its self-aware nods to that sort of Victorian/Edwardian orphan/foundling literature. There are cheeky references to other novels from that genre: Maud, our 11-year-old heroine, notes that Little Lord Fauntleroy "was so perfect that the adults around him spent every spare minute comparing notes on just how perfect he was," while Horatio Alger's Ragged Dick is "so honest and many and cheerful that Maud wanted to slap him."

The humor balances a suspenseful tale of Maud's involvement in a spiritualism scam after she's adopted by sisters who claim to be mediums and need a child to reel in a wealthy client. This was a real page-turner, with well-developed characters and emotional depth. Schlitz does a beautiful job of capturing Maud's conflicting feelings as she slowly discovers that her new guardians aren't what they appear to be. ( )
  rvhatha | Jan 6, 2014 |
Fine literature it was not but I loved this book. Ok so I figured out the plot and the end about halfway through but I still enjoyed every word. The characters really came alive which some of the best authors cannot accomplish. The plot was interesting and the setting was amazingly vibrant. This book whisks your imagination off to turn of the century New England where a group of spiritualists tried to bamboozle rich grieving individuals out of a lot of money. The sister spiritualists enlist the help of an orphan girl promising her a home.
The plot had some great twists and the climax was a bit unexpected. Great quick read. ( )
  sarahzilkastarke | Nov 20, 2013 |
This was a really great story, classic in the theme and telling, but wholly original in the circumstances: mediums! seances! a secret child!
I highly recommend. ( )
  KristySP | Apr 21, 2013 |
This look into the world of the Victorians and their deep intrest in spiritualism and the supernatural is interensting and a bit creepy. There were times when the story was a bit slow and difficult (first time I've come across the word mucilaginous in my reading) but overall an interesting read. ( )
  SparklePonies | Apr 12, 2013 |
Very enjoyable children's book with non-saccharine characters, especially the engagingly prickly protagonist. ( )
  AmandaDeWees | Apr 5, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763629308, Hardcover)

A feisty orphan is taken in by a band of phony spiritualists in this intriguing, engaging novel.

Maud Flynn is known at the orphanage for her impertinence, so when the charming Miss Hyacinth and her sister choose Maud to take home with them, the girl is as baffled as anyone. It seems the sisters need Maud to help stage elaborate séances for bereaved, wealthy patrons. As Maud is drawn deeper into the deception, playing her role as a "secret child," she is torn between her need to please and her growing conscience — until a shocking betrayal makes clear just how heartless her so-called guardians are. Filled with tantalizing details of turn-of-the-century spiritualism and
page-turning suspense, this lively historical novel features a winning heroine whom readers will not soon forget.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

At the Barbary Asylum for Female Orphans, eleven-year-old Maud is adopted by three spinster sisters moonlighting as mediums who take her home and reveal to her the role she will play in their seances.

» see all 2 descriptions

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Candlewick Press

Two editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763629308, 0763638129

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