My love of historic fiction drew my to this book. The intriguing plot line about a girl from the most poverty-stricken slum of London town in the mid-19th century and her struggles to make a new life for herself. It was too much to resist.
Unfortunately, for me, the book just didn’t live up to the hype. Reading other reviews I appear to be alone in this but, I’m sorry to say that I struggled to finish. It started out so well: Gladys’ parents were so well characterised and her relationship with her best friend ‘Toughie’ was beautifully set out. I fell in love with Gladys just as much as everyone else and it was all rather wonderful for the first quarter of the book. After this, I just became irritated with the writing. It was cluttered with phrases that 19th century English people just wouldn’t say: “Oh fiddle-fiddle Mommy, who cares…” and “I’d have beaten your sorry ass…” At times, the prose seem almost juvenile to the point that I felt I was reading a book for children.
I really don’t like writing bad reviews. In fact this is very rare for me but, I have to be honest. Other than the pretty plot line, I don’t have anything more positive to say about this story. I skimmed over much of it in pure frustration.
Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.