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Hearn, Julie. Ivy, a novel.

HEARN, Julie. Ivy, a novel. Simon & Schuster. 355p. c2008. 978-1-4169-2506-4. $17.99. S *

In Victorian England, red-haired Ivy is orphaned as a toddler and is raised by her thieving and predatory aunt and uncle and ruled over by cousins of both genders. Ivy is beautiful, striking to look at. Because of this, she is kidnapped at age five by Carroty Kate and trained as a skinner, a person who lures wealthy children into dark corners, then steals clothes right off their backs. Carroty Kate is aligned with a truly evil man who can't abide small children and threatens, meaningfully, to tie Ivy in a sack and drown her in the Thames if she doesn't stop crying. Carroty Kate gives Ivy laudanum to keep her quiet and before long Ivy has an addiction. Ten years pass, and Ivy is back in the bosom of her real family, still addicted, and now selling flowers. Her beauty enchants an untalented painter who can afford his pastime because he is also wealthy. Unfortunately, he also comes equipped with a murderous and jealous mother. After miraculously surviving several failed murder plots, Ivy finally takes matters into her own hands, overcomes her laudanum addiction, slips out of the painter's control and decides her own destiny. Ivy is likable, if naive, in a sordid world, and her story is compelling. The evocation of Victorian London and life among the poor and unsavory is colorful and authentic. A good approach to a historical setting, with a plucky but flawed heroine. Myrna Marhr, Assoc. Prof. of English, BYU, Laie, HI
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Author:Marler, Myrna
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2008
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