Genre: Historical Fiction
Part of TBR Pile Challenge 2013
Synopsis: Velvet is an orphan. She struggles to make ends meet by working in a steam, laundry, where the work is back-breaking and exhausting. So when she attracts the attention of the glamorous clairvoyant Madame Savoya, she cannot believe her good fortune.
Raised to the status of lady’s maid, Velvet is given elegant clothes to wear and is brought to live in a grand house in London. But the longer she works for Madame Savoya, the more she discovers about the mysterious world of a spiritual medium. Velvet soon realises that her employer is not quite what she seems and that this knowledge could put her very life in danger.
200words (or less) review: Velvet continues to provide all the things that I love about historical fiction by Mary Hooper; excellent writing, interesting characters and to chance to learn history in such a mesmerising and entertaining way.
The main focus of Velvet is on mediums that were so popular in the Victorian Era. Madame Savoya rescues Velvet by giving her work as an assistant, a great promotion considering where Velvet is at the beginning of the book. She moves into Madame Savoya house where she has a warm bed, good food and new clothes.
As Velvet learns more about mediums and Madame Savoya ‘art’ it becomes clear that her saviour is not all she seems. For the first time I didn’t love Mary Hooper protagonist, Velvet is an intelligent and capable young woman and I liked her but didn’t care as much about her as I wanted.
I would have happily read Velvet in one sitting (unfortunately I couldn’t), the story is well paced and really really interesting so it’s very hard to put the book down before the end. Enjoy!