At the Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper

How did I get the book?  I bought it.

Genre: Historical Fiction

First Impression: The protagonist is called Hannah and it’s by Mary Hooper – sold.

Synopsis: It is 1665 and Hannah is full of excitement at the prospect of her first trip to London. She is going to help her sister, Sarah, in her candy shop, ‘The Sugared Plum’. But Hannah does not get the welcoming reception she expected from her sister, because the Plague is taking hold of London. However, Hannah is determined to stay and together the two young women face the worst-with the possibility of their own demise, growing ever closer. But through it all they persevere with the support of their neighbours and each other. And at last, they find hope in a daring attempt to escape the city.

200words (or less) review: If anyone ever asks me for recommendations when it comes to historical fiction I always tell them to start with a Mary Hooper novel.

Whether is first or third person narration, Mary Hooper’s writing pulls you in and keeps you turning the pages until you’ve reached the end. The language is beautiful, the word-building exquisite (I’ve always wanted to say that in a review and now I finally can) and the characters are wonderful.

At the Sign of the Sugared Plum is no exception. Hannah travels to London to help her older sister in her ‘sweetmeats’ shop. I loved the way Hannah describes making the sweets. If you’re brave enough there are actually a few recipes for sweetmeats at the end of the book.

As the plague takes hold Hannah’s narration doesn’t falter. We see the horrors through her eyes without the story descending into chaos as her environment does. It’s clear that this book has been researched at length and I certainly learned a few things.

At the Sign of the Sugared Plum might be a smaller book but the story is huge and you lose nothing of its value because of a lesser word count.

Recommend it?

Sunshine Star

3 thoughts on “At the Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper

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