Fagin's Boy (Oliver & Jack) Paperback – 1 Jan 2014
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About the Author
Christina E. Pilz was born in Waco, Texas, and grew up in Boulder, Colorado. Her love for historical fiction began when she read Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She has an M.A. in Linguistics, and an M.S. in Technical Communications. She loves coffee shops, mountain sunsets, prairie storms, the smell of lavender, and is a staunch supporter of the Oxford comma. Passionate about what she writes, her stories will transport you.
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Being British, and familiar with many of the London settings used in this book, I was surprised to learn that the author is American. Remote research can only carry so far, so I assume Christina Pilz’s has included location visits. If I have to nit-pick, only two references grated: first was the use of the term “blocks” in describing areas of the city, one which is not used (or wasn’t until recently) in the UK, and second, a judge uses a gavel, which English judges don’t do. (Told you it was nit-picking). Dialogue appears accurate without being archaic, and gives a good feeling of the times.
The story follows a set of circumstances that may easily have befallen Oliver Twist following the events of Dickens’ book. The plot moves along nicely, is believable and unforced. As a backdrop to Oliver’s many trials, most metaphoric, one real, there is the slow-burning fuse of a developing intimate relationship between Oliver and Jack. Again, unforced and well-written. Oliver’s feelings for his old friend awaken very slowly. He is reluctant to express his feelings, not least because if discovered, he could get them both thrown into gaol, deported or worse.
So well written and the time period and characters are well portrayed. Great read.
This is a free and honest review given in return for a Arc Copy.
If you are hoping or expecting something smutty or a sex filled novel, this may not be the right book for you. Oliver only meets Jack about halfway through the book and any sexy times happen right at the end of this book…
Told entirely from Oliver’s point of view, it is set some years after the Charles Dickens book and, personally I found it quite confusing to start with – but quickly caught up with it.
You follow Oliver immediately after the death of his benefactor, as he gets a job in a haberdashery shop. From there he keeps bumping into Jack (The Artful Dodger).
After a shocking life changing event Oliver goes on the run and ends up staying with Jack.
Although I felt there were times when there was more description that action going on, I really enjoyed the book.
There is a realistic tone to the book and the authors’ description of London is very accurate.
Would I buy the second book? Yes…
I found it difficult to pinpoint just why I am not enthused by this novel, a continuation of Dickens' classic Oliver Twist with a gay subplot.
Maybe it was the length-or did it just feel too long?
Was it the plot-or lack of real plot?
Was it just DULL?
Was Oliver just awful or just not what I would have imagined him to be at seventeen?
Was Dodger (Jack) too much of the "cheeky chappy " as played in the film of the musical?
Did the reader have to suspend belief too often? Jack returning, from transportation for instance.
The burgeoning of their relationship was very "cute"and the sex delicately handled but hardly realistic for the people, time, place and circumstances..This part was all too "nice" in the grim reality of life then as shown in the treatment of workhouse orphans.
Overall, I found this rather self-indulgent, taking far too long to get not very far, too obviously setting readers up for a series.