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on 27 September 2011
I loved this book. I read it a few years ago and it is one that I return to periodically and re-read, and I enjoy it each time.
So I am delighted to find it available as a Kindle book.
The character of 'Mary', the female protagonist, is not a likeable one at all.She is conniving, cunning and ultimately a criminal, but she is very much a product of her time.She follows the path that Life has decided she must follow to the bitter end. It is not a happy book and some readers may find the downward spiral of Mary's short life depressing- but Emma Donoghue has created a fascinating character, supported by other vividly drawn portraits.Georgian England is a lonely purgatory for people who slip through Society's net, as does Mary.I liked the character of 'Doll',the irrepressible prostitute,the best of all. Sharp, sad, hilarious in parts,dark.Read it!
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on 7 July 2012
When I read the sample for this book after falling in love with "Room", I thought "oh, yes, I am going to like this". I bought it straight away, read the first few pages... and put it down for a couple of weeks. They were so upsetting I couldn't stand it. But then I went back to it and started loving the book, I couldn't put it down and then, with the second part I realised I was... bored! It starts great but then it trails off and the second part really is boring and random and pointless but the end is quite ok, I guess.
So, I can't say I didn't like it, and I won't say it's a bad book, since it's brilliantly written, but I guess the second part spoiled it for me.
Love Emma Donoghue and will continue reading her work, though. She is an amazing writer.
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on 26 August 2017
Donoghue has a tendency to shove her social history research down your throat by making characters in her books say things people would not say to each other. This can be annoying and patronising. That said, she writes well and the stories ( which are usually based on real events) tend to crack along quite nicely. I was not prepared for the ending which is shocking..
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on 29 June 2017
This is historical fiction at it's finest - an account of the life of an 18th century child prostitute, in short an abused and troubled girl, from her days on the London streets to her period in service in the Welsh marches. Donoghue ensures that her characters are multi-faceted and judiciously avoids the sentimentality that would tempt a lesser writer in the telling of the tale. Highly recommended as a compulsive read, written by a most accomplished storyteller.
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on 2 September 2014
The harrowing and all too believable tale of a young girl's downward spiral into crime. Extensively researched and powerfully told, this is not a story for the faint-hearted. I find the real talent of this author is that she makes the characters so real, I root for them even if they're horrible people. Packs an emotional punch. The only criticism I have is that I'd rather have stayed in Mary's point of view rather than splitting off into many halfway through the book. That was a bit disorientatin
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on 3 May 2014
But I can recommend this book, in which Donoghue details the short, violent life of an ill-fated teenage prostitute. She based it loosely on a real case of a young woman hanged for murder so I'm not giving away any plot details. There is much to admire in her excellent descriptive prose and I really like her characterisation of Mary; there is something very modern in the way she is scarred by what she experiences in her life and trapped by her own inability to escape, and also by the limitations of the 18th century society she lives in.
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on 20 October 2014
Absolutely loved this book.
Having enjoyed "Room" by the same author was looking forward to reading something by her again and was intrigued by "Slammerkin".
It didn't disappoint.
Found it difficult to put down; a good page turner; again the content of the book was a taboo or questionable subject; but Emma Donoghue is such a skilled writer that she brings you along the journey without you having repulsion for the subject.

Historical you were right there in the heart of London.She brought alive the smells, colours, poverty,damp, hunger and demands of society.
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on 25 July 2015
I enjoyed this book, although it ends sadly it is not a depressing book, it takes you into a life of hardship in Victorian Britain. We follow the life of a teenage girl who becomes a prostitute in London until circumstances drive her to relocate to Wales.
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on 10 March 2011
If you liked The Crimson Petal and the White, this books is definitely for you. The story should be bleak and depressing and it covers the tragic tale of Mary's fall from grace all because of a scarlet ribbon, but the characters bring the story to life. Ultimately historically it made sense because the feisty and hard working women of the story had no rewards, it was the men who had it all however worthy they were.
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on 23 July 2012
I loved this book from start to finish! To me, it felt like a very dark fairy story (without the happy ending!) and the storytelling and historical details were so richly described that it felt like going back in time. I've read a few times that people didn't like or felt frustrated with the main character but who's to say you have to like her? She was exactly that - an interesting character through and through.

As in "Room", which I loved, some of the subject matter was quite heavy but handled brilliantly by the author without any sentimentality, just well told and enjoyable to read. All the other characters in the book are well rounded and interesting. I cannot wait to read the author's other books!
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