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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 11 September 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In the well worn footfalls of E. Nesbit, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Joan Aiken with a dash of Dahl (how could there not be?) Julia Lee has written a very exciting adventure tale of an orphan girl, Clemency, sent home from India to an unknown fate after the death of her parents.

Like many a tale she is a stranger in a strange land and the characters seen through the eyes of our young heroine loom large with a sometime air of menace but do not despair the fragrance of hot buttered toast on the end of a fork before a nursery fire is never that far away.

This is a jolly story that will keep a young person awake long after "lights out" and even an elderly person chortling at these madcap misadventures

Highly recommended
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
With hints of Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess and a smidgen of Lemony Snicket,the story of young Clemency Wrigglesworth will appeal to young readers with a taste for adventure and melodrama.

Our heroine, eleven year old Clemency, has been recently orphaned and finds herself whisked from India to the very different environment of a cold, grey Southampton. With no immediate family to be found, she has temporary lodgings with the Marvel family who hope to reunite her with English relations after placing an advertisement in The Times. What follows is an exciting tale of mystery and intrigue as Clemency ends up in a setting far removed from her comfortable exotic upbringing abroad. With the help of her new friend, Gully and his "Red Indian" accomplices and by drawing on her own quickwittedness, Clemency hopes to find the truth of the matter.

My 9 year old daughter and I both enjoyed this roller coaster tale with its many twists and turns. The baddies aren't too nasty and yes, you know that they will receive their comeuppance but this is a really enjoyable tale with a feisty female protagonist.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
After being recently orphaned Clemency finds herself on a boat back to England from her home in India. On board the boat home she is looked after by a nanny who on arrival in Southampton turns detective to try and track down any relatives of Clemency. In the meantime she is looked after by the Marvels, who would probably deserve a book in their own right. From this point there are various twists and turns as the story unfolds that tests Clemency's resourcefulness as she takes on the challenges that are put in her path.

This is an enjoyable and emminently readable tale which will enthrall young readers (7-11 y/o) with characters that captivate and stimulate the imagination. My only concern is that this book would appear to be aimed at a female audience and I draw this conclusion mainly from the cover artwork and the title. However, after reading it myself and my grandson reading it (and enjoying it) the story just happens to be about a resourceful girl (could equally be about a boy) who finds inner strength in dealing with the situations she finds herself in, as such it would suit a wider readership than the one it will probably find, and boys if not directed to it will miss out on a well told story.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Perhaps a touch of deja vu for many readers as the young heroine is introduced - she newly orphaned and on a ship bound for England from India. Left behind are servants and a governess. Ahead, she knows not what - except an ancestral home and relatives never seen before.

No secret garden for Clemency, just dramatic developments in Somerset amidst weird people many seemingly intent on devilry. Fortunately she has made friends on the way, especially that exuberant lot at Southampton's 17 Wentworth Gardens where she briefly stayed. Many will converge for an exciting climax, complete with a Red Indian or two.

It is all preposterous but great fun, Clemency a plucky young lady who really should not be messed around. Some readers may wish there had been another chapter, wrapping everything up more clearly - especially the fate of various characters who had wished Clemency ill. That is the only reservation about this delightfully satisfying read.

Recommended to all young at heart.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I thoroughly enjoyed this old fashioned adventure story. It reminded me of something like The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, although the air of menace here is always offset by a sense of the absurd and a dry humour that permeates the book.

This is the story of Clemency Wrigglesworth, abandoned in India by indifferent parents who have the temerity to up and die on her, she is off to England to try and track down the remains of her aristocratic family in the hope that they will take her in. Adopted by a fellow traveller on the way to England, who hopes to be suitably recompensed for reuniting her with said family, Clemency is left in Southampton with Mrs. Potchard's strange family, waiting for her own family to come and claim her.

It seems that not everyone is happy with Clemency's arrival - and a series of strange people arrive on the scene, exciting suspicion and causing alarm when Clemency disappears one day.

I won't give any more of the story away, but this is a beautifully paced adventure with lots of plot twists and turns and some great characters. Clemency, far from being the drip she might have well turned out to be from the opening pages, finds a backbone and really comes into her own as the story progresses. I loved all the characters in the book, but it is so refreshing to get a decent heroine I was particularly enamoured of Clemency.
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on 25 July 2013
A perfect mix of action, peril, adventure, and vivid and appealing characters. The heroes are brave and resourceful; the villains are suitably eccentric, and the author writes with pace and vigour. If you've enjoyed Eva Ibbotson's stories then this book is for you. It would be a great book to read aloud.
I can't wait for Julia Lee's next book! Highly recommended.
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on 10 April 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My 10 year old literally couldn't put this down - and was unusually tired the day after she took this up to read at bedtime.

Recently orphaned (aren't they all!) Clemency embarks on an adventure while trying to connect with relatives who might take her in - shades of Lemony Snicket, Secret Garden, Eva Ibbotson et al. And this proves a great recipe - the story is fun, well paced, has plenty of appropriate peril, twists and turns and is highly entertaining.
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on 9 December 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book delighted my 11 year old niece.
So different she said to have a punk heroine. ( Her words!!! )
She liked Pippi Longstocking and she enjoyed this book.
I skipped through it myself and so that it offered a good tale, and was ideal for a young girl to read.
Recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 8 October 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There's a dastardly plot afoot and someone has to sort it out. Clemency Wrigglesworth, the orphan from India, has been abducted. So many suspicious things have gone on since she arrived in England. Mrs Lysander and Miss Clawe snooping around, then Miss Clawe taking her off without her luggage.

Why did no-one answer the advertisement in The Times to say she had arrived? Are her family really at Great Hall?

It's a good job she fell in with the Marvels, and that they got to know the genuine Red Indians, otherwise there might not have been a happy ending. As it is, Clemency has to deal with some pretty nasty people and that includes her aunt and uncle.

At one point it looks as if she might have to throw herself off a building to reach safety. I won't say if she does or if she doesn't.

The action doesn't stop and it has all the devious doings you might expect in Victorian England. It's got ships, sweet shops, schools; big old houses, little terraced houses, fairground caravans; theatricals, servants, and aristocracy.

In fact, it has everything you need for a good story.
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VINE VOICEon 1 December 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a really fun book to read. The plot is complex but very easy to follow and although there are some convenient coincidences in it, it is so much fun that you are very happy to go along with them. The book also provides some excellent opportunities to stop and try and think why the events are happening as they do or the characters are acting as they do. As a teacher, I might very well use this book in class and is it offers these opportunities to discuss what the ulterior motives might be.
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