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Cousins in the Castle
     

Cousins in the Castle

by Barbara Brooks Wallace
 

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Plucked out of her comfortable life in Victorian London by her forbidding cousin Charlotte, Amelia sets sail for New York. But no sooner does she land than the orphaned 11-year-old finds herself abandoned and then imprisoned. Deliciously gothic, this Dickensian mystery is full of evil villains and so many plot twists that the pages practically turn themselves.

Overview

Plucked out of her comfortable life in Victorian London by her forbidding cousin Charlotte, Amelia sets sail for New York. But no sooner does she land than the orphaned 11-year-old finds herself abandoned and then imprisoned. Deliciously gothic, this Dickensian mystery is full of evil villains and so many plot twists that the pages practically turn themselves.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Amelia Fairwick, 11, is a motherless child of comfortable means living in Victorian London. When her father purportedly dies on a business trip, she must go to America to live with her closest relatives, distant cousins in New York. The journey is Amelia's first introduction to Cousin Charlotte, a cold, strict chaperone who has come to collect her. The shipboard passage is brightened, however, by Amelia's acquaintance with sprightly Primrose, an orphaned singer in the employ of two grasping rogues slated to perform their musical comedy routine in New York. When the ship arrives, Amelia is abandoned on the pier by Charlotte and winds up in the care of Mrs. Dobbins, a kindly woman who offers her shelter in her tiny basement flat. But the next morning, Mrs. Dobbins is gone, and Amelia discovers that she is a prisoner. Suspicions mount that her cousins are after her fortune as Amelia escapes, searches out her pal Primrose (who is revealed to be a boy named Rosie), and eventually arrives at the forbidding mansion of her dastardly relations. Loose ends are neatly tied up in a run of high-rolling Dickensian coincidences: her father reappears, alive and well, and Rosie discovers that Charlotte, who is not so bad after all, is actually his long-lost mother. This gothic mystery is slight, but it will keep young readers guessing.-Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
Kirkus Reviews
An orphan is abandoned, robbed, and kidnapped in a Victorian melodrama from Wallace (The Twin in the Tavern, 1993, etc.), a specialist in the genre.

When motherless Amelia's father is reportedly killed while abroad, she is forced to leave London to sail to America with her forbidding Aunt Charlotte. Upon arriving in New York, Amelia is beset by troubles and seeks help from the only person she knows, Primrose, a child singer she met on the ship. This is good entertainment, with all of melodrama's blandishments: an innocent orphan facing a fate worse than death, dastardly villains, conniving relatives, family fortunes—it's all here. So are the weaknesses of the genre: absurd coincidences, too-ample exposition at the climax, terribly tidy conclusions. Those who know what to expect will find this a lightweight but exciting page-turner, a good read for a rainy afternoon, that ultimately satisfies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780788746598
Publisher:
Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
12/01/1900
Edition description:
Unabridged
Age Range:
8 - 14 Years

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