Series: Meg Moore #2
Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux on April 18th 2006
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
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In Restoration London, sixteen-year-old Meg Moore is
something of an anomaly. Unlike other girls her age, Meg pores
over books. She spends long hours conversing with the famous
authors and poets who visit her father's bookstore, and even
writes her own stories, laboring over every word until her hand
is black with ink. Without warning, however, Meg comes to
learn exactly how powerful words can be. The day her best
friend's brother Edward sets sail for Italy, Meg scoffs at his
attempts at romance by answering him with a thoughtless jest.
Soon news travels to London that Edward's ship has been
captured and he has been sold as a slave in North Africa - and
Meg cannot shake the thought that her cruel words are the
cause. Now Meg must use her fiery language to bring Edward
home, imploring her fellow Londoners to give all that they can
to buy Edward's freedom. But once Meg learns to direct the
power behind her words, will she be able to undo the damage
she has caused, and write freely the stories that she longs to put
This book was pretty satisfying. I learned pretty early on that I wasn’t going to be completely on board with the romance aspect so I instead chose to concentrate on the historical aspect and was rewarded. Although I got quite frustrated with the main character and her close-mindedness. I mean, that mindset was definitely a historical thing, but still. Here we have a girl who dares to be different by writing, though she is criticized for it, and she does not conform with the rest of her gender by embracing the things they expect her to. She prefers writing to housework and isn’t into the whole cooking/sewing/cleaning thing. BUT she still remains firmly close-minded (not even narrow-minded, but altogether close-minded) on the subject of other religions and ways of life in other countries. It is most frustrating. When she listened to stories that should have educated and interested her, I feel like she completely missed the point because she kept comparing them against her own views and religion and lifestyle and basically did everything she could to discredit what she heard, quite rudely I may add. Sure, that is how she was raised, but she was also raised to be an obedient daughter who shouldn’t write and that is certainly not how she turned out.
And I did not expect there to be a love triangle, but somehow there ended up being one. I swayed back and forth between them, not altogether enthralled with either choice, but both had unexpected merits. Suitor #1 was better for her because he was going to be a bookseller and would allow her to remain in the world of books, which she could not live without. And he pursued her knowing that it would be a future that would make her happy, although I am not sure how deeply he cared for her himself. The downside of this was that he also did not approve of women writing. Suitor #2 was first and was a merchant, I believe, so he could afford travel to exotic lands but his lifestyle had nothing to do with books. I believe he did care for her very much, as much as he could for not having truly known her for very long. Anyway, he was encouraging of her writing and he was wealthy as well.
Meg swayed between them as well, most of the time thinking quite practically about the futures they would be able to provide her rather than love. She denied herself the ability to love, I believe, although in the beginning it was a good thing to not make something out of nothing. Personally, I began to like both choices less and less as time went on, but toward the end one came out on top and I believe it was a good one. So that was good. But not really the focus of the story, and that was also good.
The rest of the plot was good as well. Meg, while frustrating, was also determined and practical at all times. She made mostly good choices. She followed her heart and I guess that’s the best thing for all of us to do.
I did so love the writing. It was deliciously old-fashioned. So with that and the amount of historical research that went into this book, it was quite a satisfying read, if not the easiest.
reaction upon finishing
this book in one word