How did I get the book? I bought it.
Genre: Historical Fiction
First Impression: I have to know how Hannah’s story ends.
Synopsis: This gripping account of London’s Great Fire of 1666 is a worthy companion to At the Sign of the Sugared Plum. Only one year after the city suffered such terrible losses during the Plague, London is recovering and Hannah convinces her parents that, with her younger sister Anne’s help, she can return to the city and manage the sweetmeats shop on her own. The girls are thrilled to be back in London, and Hannah even finds her old beau, Tom, alive and well and working for a magician. But her newfound happiness is short-lived as fires begin to spring up around the city and quickly move closer to their shop. Finally, Hannah and Anne are forced to abandon their home to save their lives. When the fires have abated, the girls return to find their shop in ruins. They also find Tom, beaten and injured after being chased by a mob that blamed the magician for starting the fire. Despite their losses, Hannah is sure that one day she will rebuild her shop and once again trade under the sign of the sugared plum.
200words (or less) review: Petals in the Ashes continues Hannah’s story immediately after At the Sign of the Sugared Plum ended. I was only going to read the first few pages and go to bed but it was gone midnight before that happened.
I had to finish the story.
Petals in the Ashes loses nothing of what was wonderful in the first book. Hannah and her sister return home but unlike her older sister Hannah misses London. As the plague continues to subside Hannah manages to convince her parents to let her return, taking her younger sister Anne with her.
Hannah’s character grows a lot from the first book, now she is the responsible older sibling. Thankfully she doesn’t lose any of her charm because of this. Both girls, particularly Hannah endure a lot of trails in this book and I would say that Petals in the Ashes has a more dramatic ending then the first story.
You don’t have to read At the Sign of the Sugared Plum to appreciate this book but I think you’d love it even more if you did. As always there are little historical notes and treats at the end of the story.
Both stories are available as a tie-up book under the title The Fever and the Flame.