Title: The Dresskeepr
Author: Mary Naylus
Publisher: Prospera Publishing
PublicationDate: 27 Nov 2009
ARC: 238 pages
Source: Review Copy
Reviewed by: Carolyn
BOOK COVER SUMMARY:
Picky Robson thought things couldn’t get any worse. Her life is a boy-free zone, she’s being bullied at school, then mum announces she has to look after gran every weekend for the foreseeable future. One night, unknowingly tempting fate, Picky slips into a flouncy old dress from the depths of an ancient chest and finds herself back in the 17th Century London. But she is not alone. A weirdo in a wig is trying to kill her – mistaking her for a girl called Amelia. Who is Amelia? Can Picky change the pst by exposing the murderer? And will she make it back alive?
I really enjoyed this story. I liked the main character Picky (real name Penelope), and all the supporting cast of characters were well written and had a lot of depth to them. I was able to immerse myself in Picky’s life quite quickly and found the travelling from the present to the past really interesting and most of the time absorbing.
Picky, however, did have an annoying habit of saying “no, seriously” quite a lot, which at first was quite funny as I could really hear a thirteen-year-old saying it. But after a while it lost its appeal and became irritating. I was also surprised at Picky’s lack of knowledge. Her exclamation of “what on earth is a Nazi?” and her insistence of not quite grasping the fact that the 17th Century didn’t have phones or the internet, even though she had travelled back three or four times, was annoying. And yet, she knew Christopher Wren and that he built St. Paul’s Cathedral and Isaac Newton, so her intelligence, or lack of it, wasn’t really consistent.
However, overall Picky is very witty and had me smiling several times throughout the book. The premise of her slipping on a dress and travelling back in time is a good one. Her descriptions of Victorian England are very visual and I enjoyed the detail of the ‘flouncy’ dresses she had to wear and how different Victorian London is to London today. At times the descriptions had me using my other senses too…
I step outside onto the path, and seemingly into a giant bonfire. Black soot lies over everything… It’s hard to breathe… I am still trying not to use my nose because of the putrid smell. I begin to cough, then I notice that the brown stuff on the street is poo…
This is a really good read and I found myself reading the majority of the book in one sitting. I think it is more suitable for the lower teens, but I’m sure you would enjoy it at any age, as I did, and I look forward to the next book from Mary Naylus, ‘The Plaguemaker‘.
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