Forged in the Fire by Ann Turnball
Challenges - Young Adult, 100+, New Author, A to Z Title.
I was lucky enough to be lent this book by a friend from school, who had seen on my blog that I was taking part in a Young Adult book challenge. Looking at the cover, it would not have been a book I would have picked up myself as it looked far too historical for my liking. However, I am so glad I did read it, because it was fabulous.
The book is set between 1665 and 1666, during the time of the great plague and the great fire of London. The book follows the story of Will, a young Quaker, who travels to London from Shropshire to find work. Waiting for him in Shropshire, his beloved Susanna, becomes increasingly worried, as Will's letters grower fewer as the plague spreads through London and the city gates become closed. Unable to bear the waiting and not knowing, Susanna travels to London in search of him. Whilst in London, as the threat of the plague lessens, another even greater threat looms as the fire breaks out.
This story is gripping from the start and gives you a real understanding about how people lived and managed during those horrific times. The conditions they had to live in were terrible and the way that the Quakers were treated because of what they believed in was disgusting.
I found it fascinating reading about streets in London, such as Chapel Street and Bow Lane, places where I used to work many years ago. I find it hard to imagine how London would cope if these conditions ever returned. The thought of seeing London evacuated completely would be near to impossible.
This book is the second book about Will and Susannah, the first called No Shame, No Fear, which I am desperate to read now. Ann Turnball has written many books for Young Adults, all dealing with teenagers living in different periods of time. She has also written two books as part of series with other authors, dealing with different time periods at the same house.
Here is her website for you to have a look at.
I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend it.