Book reviews and random ramblings about literary and historical matters.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
What I've Read This Week
What I Read This Weekend . . .
Wildwing by Emily Whitman -- Young Adult Historical Fiction
In 1913 England, Adelaide is elated when she's chosen to play the queen in the school play. She's an insignificant nobody; the daughter of a seamstress and nobody knows who. When the other girls from school taunt Addy about her fatherless state, she loses her temper and gets into trouble. Addy's mum is beside herself. She feels Addy should keep her head down and be quiet. Deciding that Addy needs to learn her place, she pulls Addy from school and gets the girl a job as a housemaid in the home of Mr. Greenwood. Mr. Greenwood is an eccentric old man who has been incredibly lonely since the death of his wife and the disappearance of his only son 15 years ago. Slowly, Addy comes to bond with Mr. Greenwood over their love of Shakespeare. He treats her like an equal instead of the servant she really is. When Addy sasses her Mum, her Mum decides that Addy needs a job as a live-in maid instead of working for Mr. Greenwood. Addy is angry. She can't contain her free spirit and she knows she'll be bored as a scullery maid. Her Mum sees the job as a way to a better life. Addy sees it as a prison sentence. When Addy discovers a time-traveling lift in Mr. Greenwood's library, she jumps in and travels back to the 13th century where she hopes she can be free to live her life the way she wants. She's mistaken for Lady Matilda, the ward of the king and the intended bride of Sir Hugh of Berringstoke. Sir Hugh is away and Addy enjoys living in luxury, even if the manners are strange. She finds a way to escape the confines of the castle walls by going out hunting with falcons and the handsome young falconers son Will. Will understands Addy better than anyone. He's a free spirit himself. Soon they've fallen in love, but their love is tested when Addy discovers a secret that could cost Will his life. Unexpected help arrives, but Addy has a difficult decision to make about her future. I liked this book but not as much as I was hoping to. There wasn't enough period details about 1913 and too many about 1240. I found the time travel plot silly and not very logical. I figured out the mystery in less than 50 pages and it took Addy 250 pages to realize the obvious. I didn't like the ending of the story. I did like Addy and could relate to her desire to be free. I liked her romance though it seemed to happen very quickly. I think this book would appeal to younger teens who are interested in time travel and the Middle Ages. I'm more interested in the Edwardian era and have decided that I really don't like time travel.