4 Feb 2016



INNER FRONT COVER BLURB: Hetty Feather has begun a new chapter in her life story. Escaping from Tanglefield’s Travelling Circus with her dearest friend Diamond, Hetty is determined to find them positions as glamorous music hall artistes. 

The pair quickly become the Little Stars of Mrs Ruby’s show at the Cavalcade, alongside many colourful acts – including an old friend from Hetty’s past, Flirty Bertie. But the music hall is both thrilling and dangerous, and Hetty must fight to protect her darling Diamond, who longs for a normal childhood. Meanwhile, Hetty struggles to understand her feelings for Bertie – and for Jem, whom she has never forgotten.

Hetty dreams of a glittering future for herself and Diamond. The bright lights of the London theatre world beckon – will Hetty become a true star?

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 1}: I woke with a start, my head hurting, aching all over.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 243}: Then she insisted on holding a 'birthing' scene on the cutting out table.

Miss Gibson looked slightly alarmed by this suggestion, but Diamond had no idea of the mechanics of real childbirth (I was actually a little hazy myself). She laid the box on the table and then shut her eyes, crossed her fingers and said fervently 'Oh, I wish I had a child! I wish wish wish I had my very own daughter!'

Then she went 'Ping!' and lifted her finger. 'Hark!' she said theatrically. 'I think my wish is granted!'

SOURCE: A GoodReads win.

MY THOUGHTS: Though once a big fan of this author Niece #2 (now 17) feels she has long since outgrown these books. I, however, having read several of Jacqueline Wilson's books with her in the past was keen to catch up with Hetty Feather in this, the fifth and reputedly last book in the series.

Having only read the first book in the series I'm not what you could call au-fait with Hetty's story but had no problem catching up with events. Indeed I think I could have been a total newcomer to the Hetty Feather books and still read this without any difficulty as it really does work perfectly well as a standalone novel. The characters, though most of them new to me, quickly feeling familiar.

An author I've come to have very mixed feelings about. Not the best of writers in my opinion, I do however think Ms Wilson tells a good story, the relationships between characters always well observed.

Generally considered as being suitable for those aged nine to eleven (and upwards). Already an accomplished reader at nine myself I don't wish to generalise but I think less well read children (and certainly 'reluctant' readers) may perhaps struggle with this book which at four pages short of 500 is rather long and I feel could well prove daunting.

Set in the time of Queen Victoria. Whilst there was a sense of time and place, the fashions of the time being beautifully described even if some of the dialogue used was hardly of the period. As an adult I had however hoped for more of a feel of the Victorian era . And yet I suppose, written for children, there is a narrow line between not 'dumbing' things down whilst making sure the music hall setting was appropriate.

Not a bad read and certainly one I'm convinced will appeal to Hetty aficionados/fans of the author. As for it being the last book in the series? Personally I'd be surprised if this were the case as disappointingly I felt there were certain aspects of the story left unresolved.


Suko said...

Thank you for your honest review, Tracy. I hadn't heard of this author before.

Kelly said...

New to me, as well. It does sound quite long for the age range it targets. The subject matter appeals to me, though.

On a side note... for some reason your Pinterest in the side bar extends over the body of your post, preventing me from seeing all of it. (missing out on part of the memorable moment)

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I haven't read any of these books, but I think it is great that you were able to jump in so late in the series and get all caught up. Thanks for sharing your honest review. :)

Melliane said...

it sounds interesting mainly if she is good about relationships

Stephanie Faris said...

You know what the great thing about being a grown-up is? We can read all of these books without saying we've outgrown them!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh I hate unresolved issues. That is probably why I wouldn't recommend it to reluctant readers over size. Just think Harry Potter. :) It does sound good for those readers on my list who are just the right age.

Gina R said...

Wait a second, a birthing scene? *-* That sounds rather traumatic...but I do like How they pulled it off. Doesn't sound like a bad read, but those unresolved issues could put some off. Enjoyed the review!