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At the Sign of the Sugared Plum Hardcover – 1 Jul 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Jul 2003
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 1 edition (July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582348499
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582348490
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 814,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"This story still manages to be thoroughly romantic whatever the growing corpse count." -- Independent, Monday 28th November 2003

'Mary hooper is a writer to watch' -- The Independent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Through Hannah’s eyes, Mary Hooper brilliantly recreates the smells, sounds and sights of seventeenth century London life. Hannah’s excitement at coming to the big city is vividly evoked as is the growing terror of a seemingly unstoppable plague that takes hold of the city, street by street, house by house. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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A Kid's Review on 13 July 2008
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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