Petals in the Ashes by Mary Hooper
Posted by hollybookscoops on January 25, 2010
I read this, the second in a series, without reading the first, “The Sign of the Sugared Plum”. My husband picked some great books up for me at the library when I was sick, and this was one he came home with. Luckily, it is great reading and stands on its own, without the necessity of reading the first book, although now I would really like to read the first one.
Set in England during the ‘Black Plague’ of the mid 1600s, two sisters Hannah and Sarah manage to escape the city of London with a wealthy family’s baby they hope will buy them health and peace in the country. Unfortunately, every city has rules for new occupants to pass health tests and the two sisters must wait out two months in a pest house. A pest house is the place where all the poor and deathly ill are ‘taken care of’ if you can call it that. Living in putrid circumstances, the sisters manage to remain healthy and take care of their charge until they are able to move to the estate that has sponsored their escape.
Amazing historical fiction- I have always been fascinated with stories of the plague. Perhaps knowing some of our relatives survived the plague’s destruction in Eyam, Derbyshire, England, contributes a little to that. Highly informative, this book also includes the Great Fire of 1666 a horrific disaster that burned much of London, and probably helped to cleanse the area of the Plague.