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The Strange Adventures of H by Sarah Burton


The Strange Adventures of H by Sarah Burton
UK Publication Date: 1st May 2020
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Legend Press (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Should you judge a book by its cover?

Synopsis from Goodreads: Orphaned young, H is sent to live with her doting aunt in London. H’s life is a happy one until her lecherous cousin robs her of her innocence, and the plague takes away the city and the people she loves. H is cast out—friendless, pregnant and destitute–into the rapidly emptying streets of London under quarantine.

Forced to fend for herself, she is determined to gain back the life she lost. H will face a villain out for revenge, find love in the most unexpected places, and overcome a betrayal that she never could have foreseen. Weathering it all, can H charm, or scheme, her way to the life of freedom and independence that she longs for?

My Thoughts: First impressions count right? And the first thing that hit me was that cover. Look at how beautiful it is and for a novel that sees its heroine survive the plague in London the design is definitely significant.

So onto the story – this was a solid 3 star read for me. I loved the historical setting, Burton really brings the London of the 1600s to life in glorious technicolour. The descriptions of the houses particularly those on the bridge really transported me. The attitudes of the society of the day are also brought to life through the opinions and behaviours of the characters and it was easy to see how H fell into the way of life she did given the opportunities available to women at the time.

I loved the characters especially Janey, Puss, Godfrey and of course H. Burton does a great job of introducing diverse characters in a believable manner and a manner that suits the time frame of the story. She also deals sympathetically with the situations that those fallen on hard times (particularly women) find themselves in.

This is a delightful story of hope and redemption where the baddies get what is coming to them and the goodies get their happily ever after. That said this is not a book of good and bad it is up to the reader to decide who they root for and if they can support what the characters do and there are a lot of dubious actions on the “good” side. While there are some sad moments along the way (I must confess to tearing up on more than one occasion) the payoff is definitely worth it.

During this time of Covid it was interesting to see how London coped with the bubonic plague and some of the actions will be startlingly familiar:

“I noticed some of the stalls along the streets had bowls of vinegar which coins were put into to disinfect them before a sale was made.”

“Quarantine measures were abandoned, though I think this was more to do with the impossibility of enforcing them”

Overall I really enjoyed my time with H and her menagerie of friends and family.

Who would like this book? I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, anyone who loves a happy ending and doesn’t mind some tears along the ways and anyone who wishes to escape modern life for a while.

Have you read this one? Let us know what you thought.

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