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Newes from the Dead Hardcover – 3 Apr 2008
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Another fantastic historical novel from Hooper - I couldn't put it down
-- Publishing News, April 2008
It's a gruesome tale but Hooper handles the subject matter brilliantly and I couldn't put the book down. -- The Bookseller, January 18, 2008
An incredible true story of courage and deliverance that will haunt its readers.See all Product description
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Someone suggested I looked on Amazon for it and there it was, not only that, I was able to continue reading it straight away.
I began from the start and enjoyed every page. Wonderfully written with each character portrayed with excellence.
And that story is horrific, as Anne struggles to make herself heard from the autopsy table while medical staff prepare to cut her open. Hooper's style never lets up, putting you right there alongside Anne, feeling everything she feels. It's powerful, tortuously gripping stuff.
There are some fairly adult themes here, from the grizzly aspects of Anne's demise, to her sexual relationships and those of some other characters. Despite this being put out as a YA book, it might be more suitable for older teens - the author herself has said she wanted to write a more adult book than usual in this, so I'd suggest taking that into account before buying.
Young or old, you'll definitely come out feeling educated, especially in the weird medical practices of the time. Who ever thought cutting pigeons in half and rubbing them on someone's feet would do anything other than gross them out? And it doesn't stop there, as blood letting, various herbal concoctions and even a few hints at witchcraft work their way into the narrative.
Despite a few dry patches this is well worth checking out for an Olde England spin on the “I'm not dead yet!” idea.
By giving Anne a 'voice', Hooper has succeeded in creating a touching yet starkly shocking tale about miscarriages of justice centuries ago. Despite the time that has passed, the horror of the story remains, as you try and put yourself into this poor girl's shoes. I found both the chapters which are narrated by Anne and the chapters which take place in the dissection room to be filled with humanity and honesty. As the gathered scholars and medics realise that there seems to be life within the cadaver infront of them, you cannot help but share in their horror, as they begin to contmeplate if she is alive, what does that mean for her soul? If she had been dead, would her soul have departed? And if she is to awake, will the lack of a soul mean she will be but a wraith? Such ponderings as this still have relevance today - although we are more medically advanced, the very nature of the soul means that we are no more closer to understanding that etheral part of what it is to be human.
This is a fantastic book. Just because it is meant for young adult readers, do not let that put you off. One of the best reads I have read for a long time.
Hooper takes the reader back to 1650 when a young girl was hanged for infanticide, the only crime where the suspect was considered guilty until proven innocent. With no witnesses to support her, Anne Green is accused, tried and hanged with no hope of rescue. Her body is then taken for dissection by the College of Physicians.
It is very easy to sympathise with the downfall of young innocent Anne and feel enraged at her cruel treatment at the hands of the rich and powerful. The tale is cleverly told through flashbacks which enlighten the reader as to the chain of events that led her to the Physician's dissection table.
At the end of the book, Hooper discusses her inspiration and research for the book which is interesting to note. This book is definitely not suited to very young readers as it deals with adult themes. However, the way Hooper writes about the thoughts of Anne make it easy for the reader to sympathise with her and understand how easy it can be to get into trouble as a result of human desires.
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It was written beautifully.
I was captivated and actually felt part of the story as I was so into it.
I was gripped.