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Wild Talent: A Novel of the Supernatural.

Wild Talent: A Novel of the Supernatural

written by Eileen Kernaghan

Thistledown Press, 2008

978-1897235-40-9 (pb) $15.95

for Grades 7 to 10

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Juvenile Fiction--Fantasy--Victorian History

As a child, Jeannie Guthrie dreamed of writing books and exploring the wonders of words. In reality, she knew that this would never be her lot in life and she accepted the days of backbreaking farmwork that came once she was hired out as a bondager to raise money for her family. However, never did she imagine that she would be forced to flee her native Scotland out of fear that she would be accused of witchcraft!

Yet flee she has, after an accident in which she believes has left her loathsome cousin dead. She makes her way to London where the energetic and adventurous Alexandra David takes her under her wing. Jeannie soon finds herself immersed in the world of spiritualists and theosophists, especially once she is employed by the renowned and colourful Madame Helena Blavatsky, head of the British theosophist movement. Reluctantly, Jeannie must face her own frightening abilities--the strange powers that she possesses and deeply fears.

Her life continues to take unexpected turns which lead her ultimately to Paris, where the world's fair beckons and her dear friend Alexandra once again introduces her to a whole new world--one of artists and anarchists, rebels and would-be reformers. As Alexandra becomes increasingly introspective and begins entertaining some dark and disturbing thoughts, Jeannie knows she must find a way to bring her friend back to a better place within herself.

Eileen Kernaghan creates a richly atmospheric tale that captures a range of realities of the late nineteenth century. It is an evocative and mesmerizing tale, told through the eyes and in the voice of an earnest and endearing young woman.

The vividly realized setting and quietly appealing protagonist lend this story an irresistible allure, both to readers of historical fiction and those who will be drawn by its more fantastical and otherworldly elements.

Lisa Doucet is the Assistant Manager of Woozles in Halifax.

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Title Annotation:We Recommend
Author:Doucet, Lisa
Publication:Canadian Children's Book News
Article Type:Young adult review
Date:Mar 22, 2009
Words:341
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