on 2 August 2011
Milicent's Book is a true story. All the characters that present themselves are real and the majority of the events that took place actually occurred. The story came to the attention of the author after she found it whilst living in the house, Hancox, which Milicent bought when she was twenty years old. Charlotte Moore found Milicent's box of treasures which contained two diaries that Milicent had written as a teenager when living at Yotes Court. In order to create this book, Charlotte merged two years worth of events into one year. Other than that Milicent's story was harldy altered at all.
I love to read books like this, that stay true to the historical events that have occurred. It was such a delight to read and immerse myself in Milicent's life during the 1800's.The book strongly reminded me of The Children of Charlecote by Philippa Pearce and I Capture The Castle by Dodi Smith. All these books bring to life the coming of age of young girls during the 1800's, revealing their hopes and dreams for the future.
Milicent wrote the diary as letters to her future self and they often reflected the way children and teenagers just burst with information as they need to tell you everything in a short space of time. At times her conversation to herself went off in tangents as she quickly remembered other information she wished to share and I found myself giggling as it reminded me of how my own children chatter away without always getting to the point.
I do feel that Charlotte has captured Milicent's voice beautifully and it is quite obvious from reading the book that Charlotte felt a personal interest towards the characters and the stories. During the time it took me to read the book, I found it delightful to step back in history and experience a life style from a different generation.
I was interested to find that Charlotte has also written a book about Hancox, which is the house that Milicent bought in her twenties and is now the family home for Charlotte.
If you like to read historical fiction based on true events, then this is a book for you. It is a short book aimed at children and definitely one to help them discover life in a different century. Another fantastic book published by Catnip Publishing that I would use in a classroom as an aid to teaching.
on 4 December 2011
There's no point in repeating what Serendipity wrote, I agree with it all. I should add, however, that although it may have been aimed at children I, as a mature male adult, enjoyed it immensely. Perhaps that was partly because I had read (and enjoyed) Hancox and therefore knew something about the characters involved and was aware from the start that Milicent married Dr Moore later on in life.
The only problem was that when I finished I wanted to know what happened next, but knew that since further Milicent diaries probably no longer existed I would probably never know any more than the bare facts of her future marriage.
As with Hancox, it is not just a beautifully written and enjoyable book but a commentary on the social history of the time and well worth reading.