Friday, August 27, 2010
Historical Fiction Friday
In today's spotlight we have Folly. It takes place during the Victorian Era, and as you know I love all things Victorian.
Here is a summary:
Mary Finn is unmarried and pregnant. Her baby's father has disappeared and she's been dismissed from her domestic position. A kindhearted woman takes her in, but then dies after the baby is born, and Mary is homeless again. She realizes that her son's only hope for survival is to be raised in the Foundling Hospital. Six-year-old James has been happy in his foster home, but now he must return to the hospital, where he was placed by his mother as a baby, so he can receive his education. His third-person narrative, which takes place in 1884, alternates with Mary's first-person account, which is set between 1877 and 1878. This alternating point of view may be a bit confusing for teens at first, but the story will quickly pull them in. Jocelyn's characters are richly drawn and fully developed, and the setting of late-1800s London is vividly detailed. The climactic scenes between Mary and Eliza, another maid, are funny and sad at the same time. The novel has a melancholy feel to it, but readers will care very much for these characters as they experience first love and sex, physical pain, jealousy, homelessness, hunger, shame, desertion, and heart-wrenching decisions.