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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant insight into 17th century London
I had this book bought for me and i could say at first i was not sure. But when i picked it up, i literally was hooked! It follows the lives of Hannah and her sister during the plauge. It is racy, interesting and sad. I would definitly recomend to anyone of the age group 13+. I would read again!
Published on 15 July 2006 by Harriet*

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmmm
At the beginning of this book I found that I could not quite get into it, I think it was because I bought this book for my holiday in Egypt but I did not get to read much on that holiday, I found after I began reading It on my IPad the last few days, it was riveting and I was reluctant to put it down. I think if you are going to red this book then read it all at once and...
Published 14 months ago by Stormy12112


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant insight into 17th century London, 15 July 2006
I had this book bought for me and i could say at first i was not sure. But when i picked it up, i literally was hooked! It follows the lives of Hannah and her sister during the plauge. It is racy, interesting and sad. I would definitly recomend to anyone of the age group 13+. I would read again!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sign of the Sugared Plum, 13 July 2008
A Kid's Review
I read this book when i was ten and really injoyed it. I am now eleven and read it again and again. It is about the Plague in London and how Hannah and her sister Sarah try to survive and keep their sweetmeats shop open. I recomend this to any reader how likes adventure books that is hard to put down. In the back of the book it tells you how to make sweetmeats like: Sugared Rose Petals, Frosted anjelica and lots more. If you like this book read the follow up Petals in the Ashes.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book, 28 Jan 2004
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sophie (South London) - See all my reviews
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum tells the story of Hannah who moves to London full of excitment only to find that the plague is sweeping through the city. As more and more people become ill, Hannah and her sister have to decide what to do. The final chapters are nail biting! As well as being a great story, the book gives a brilliant insight into the life of teenagers during that period of history. I had not read any books by Mary Hooper before but i will definitely read more now!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book ever!!!, 16 Jun 2004
By 
S. Lloyd (Chesterfield, Derbyshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
At the sign of the sugared plum is a touching story and is the best book i've ever read! The story-line of Hannah and her older sister struggling through difficult times as the plague threatens them in every chapter. Bringing the scene alive is exactly what Mary Hooper achives, you can imagine the sights and smells of London, the church bells ringing constantly declaring more deaths as the sisters parish becomes infected. Also the fear stricken into Hannah as she discovers more and more blood red crosses on tha parish doors and the dreaded words "lord have mercy on us"! This is also a very educational book telling you about the scenes of London, the symptoms of the plague such as the buboes and tokens that apper on the skin. Everything seems so real as they travel through the disese stricken land-the pits piled high with corpses and the smell of preventives everywhere! i don't think Hannah will have any more time to worry about her bright red hair and freckles! A must read book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At the sign of the Sugared Plum, 3 Nov 2003
This was a great book and I enjoyed every minute of it. Some parts are quite sad and some happy and there are some things for you to try and make at home at the back of the book. It may be useful for a project on the plague as you journey through London with Hannah and her Sweetmead shop. I would recomend this book to anyone who likes a good read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written, 15 Oct 2011
This is the second book in two weeks I've read set in the 1600s and I have to confess this is the book that most vividly invokes the period. Mary Hooper is celebrated for her historical YA books and after reading my first book from her I can understand why. The writing is simple and elegant, effortless painting pictures, sounds and smells of the period. In fact I just fell in love with Mary's style of writing and descriptions!
The story focuses on Hannah, a young girl from the country who moves to London to help her older sister in her sweetmeats shop just before the Great Plague hits London in 1665. Hannah is new to the city and through her eyes we can experience the everyday life of people at the time living in a crowded, prosperous city. I loved Hannah's naivety and wonder at seeing the city for the first time. People are not frightened at first but slowly the tension mounts as rumours and disease spread. I loved the descriptions of preventatives and how the dead are dealt with as the situation slowly gets worse and the fear mounts.
This is a truly enchanting tale with plentiful historical detail for those who care. There is creepiness from the disease acting as a menacing figure towering over Hannah and her sister. I'm so happy I have a selection of other Mary Hooper books to work my way through as I have found a new favourite!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tasty treat for all, 4 Aug 2011
For a young adult novel, this was very evocative in its portrayal of London during the terrifying months of the plague at its height. Hannah travels to London from her quiet, idyllic village, to work at her sisters sweetmeats shop. But she couldn't have chosen a worse time. The plague is just developing its stranglehold on the city, slowly spreading through the fetid streets and alleyways, seemingly infecting all those it touches.

The fascination with Hooper's novel is the way in which she describes the people and the atmosphere of the time. The sense of everyday life, laced with a growing sense of fear and dread as all those affected struggle to find reasons why it is happening, is gripping stuff to read. Hooper describes wonderfully the different 'preventatives' used by people at the time; the herbs and spices, the beliefs about what they should and shouldn't do, usually to no avail, and particularly the descriptions of those affected by the plague. But more over it is the story of Hannah and her sister - two healthy women, trapped in an increasingly unhealthy world - who try to remain normal whilst all around them is anything but. And 15 year old Hannah experiences all the familiar 'teenage' angst too - bad hair, worrying about her skin, boys, clothes - all the things that a modern day teen can relate to.

When the plague finally takes over, Hannah and Sarah must make a painful decision about their future in London, and the reader can really feel their anguish - wanting to stay, but knowing in their hearts that they can't.

Even though this is a young adult novel, I would definitely read more from Hooper - a very interesting historical event, recreated for modern teenage audiences in a well-written and easy to understand and relate to way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great insight to the time of the Plague, 27 Dec 2003
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This is a great read and I found it hard to put the book down! Hannah's account of her journey through the time of the plague is senstively and informatively written. I hope there is a sequel because I want to know what happened when they arrived in Dorchester! Like other readers, I'd especially recommend this if you're studying the plague - but I'd also recommend it as an all round good book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for teenagers, 17 Aug 2012
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This review is from: At the Sign Of the Sugared Plum (Kindle Edition)
At 29 years I am not in the target read for this book, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I liked the main characters and especially enjoyed the history element of the Plague which I found fascinating-the writer had clearly done her research. I also enjoyed reading about Sweetmeats, not something I had even heard of before!
I did feel the way that the way Hannah escaped the Plague was rather far fetched but I imagine it must have happened. I was reading rather furiously in the second half to find out what happens, the writer portrays excellently the spreading sense of panic as the Plague sweeps through London.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Read, 4 July 2012
Having been asked to write a review for this book a while back,now I have an account I can finally give this book a mere amount of the justice and praise it deserves.
I'm an avid reader and came across this book by chance in my library and I have to say I fell in love with it.It's simplicity is beautiful yet it still manages to provoke an array of emotions especially concerning the main character and her circumstances.I have always loved London and how it is portrayed in the book makes me fall in love with it even more and I now desperately want to go back.This book has to be my favourite read and that is certainly a great achievement having read so many and of different genres.A lot of people say 'I couldn't put it down',but I mean it when I say I really couldn't,the inner conflict of the character alongside the romance that develops made me so emotional and in a state of nervous deposition,I think I read this book within two days,that has to be the fastest I have ever read a book and now I'm going to seek out other books from this author.I eagerly encourage you to read this book,it's magical,I grew such a fondness for the main character and her optimism to continue her delicate occupation whilst London is in such a predicament at the time.I certainly developed a taste for crystallised petals after having read this book.Having reflected on this book I think I may even have to return to the library,find it and re-read it.

Mary Hooper,this book is amazing,I thank you for such an enjoyable read.
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