- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Whitbread winner Gavin (Coram Boy) holds nothing back when plotting her layered novel about human trafficking, and the end result is shocking, though the story is occasionally confusing to wade through. The book follows Nettie, a spoiled 12-year-old, as she adapts to a gargantuan new home in present-day London and, later, to a prestigious school after years of homeschooling. Nettie's privileged setup takes a dark turn when her beloved live-in tutor, Miss Kovachev, disappears, leaving behind a mysterious journal. With the help of the doorman's son, Nettie attempts to find her and uncovers some sinister family secrets. Nettie's discoveries are sandwiched between excerpts from Miss Kovachev's diary: her leaving Bulgaria in shame; her arduous journey to London while pregnant; and her involvement in an undercover investigation attempting to link Nettie's father to an international trafficking ring. While Nettie is infuriatingly naïve as a heroine, she feels realistic, given her sheltered upbringing. Though it can feel like Gavin is trying to cover too much ground at once, a slow stream of revelations and the book's rich sense of setting give it the air of a modern gothic mystery. Ages 12-up. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.