Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Diamond of Drury Lane

Cat is an orphan, but she considers herself to be one of the luckiest people alive. You see, when her parents abandoned her she was left on the steps of the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane, and that's where she has lived ever since.  Life in the theatre is never boring, but it becomes even more exciting with the arrival of a diamond and two new friends--all of which seem to bring nothing but trouble into her life.  With dodging gang members on the street and nearly dying on wayward set pieces nowhere seems to be safe for Cat.  It's a good thing cats have nine lives because she'll need every one!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although I'm admittedly more than a bit biased due to the book's setting in a theatre in 1790 England.  Cat's narration does get on my nerves at times when she decides to address her audience directly, but that doesn't happen very often and overall I like her spirit.  I also, of course, enjoyed the peek into theatre life at the end of the 18th century.  Cat curses a lot in her narration and she spends a lot of time interacting with gang members or attending boxing matches or other less-than-respectable activities but there's nothing really that bad about it and I think it would be fine for younger readers.  Especially because none of her cursing would be really recognizable to a child today and if there's anything I've learned it's that people seem to find cursing cute if it's from another time or place and this is from another time AND place so I don't anticipate parents having any problem with it.  The book is fun and has a strong female lead so I'd recommend it as a nice bit of light reading, especially to those with any interest in theatre.

The Diamond of Drury Lane, by Julia Golding.  ISBN: 139781596433519

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