Monday, 25 July 2011
Milicent's Book by Charlotte Moore
Published by Catnip Publishing in 2011
Book kindly sent by publisher for an honest review
My name is Milicent Bella Ludlow and I am an orphan. Perhaps now I've written it down it will begin to feel real.
Orphan. What a lonely word. It sounds like 'forlorn' turned inside out. Do I feel forlorn? I keep testing my heart for fractures, gingerly, as you touch a rotten tooth with the tip of your tongue to find out whether it still hurts. But my heart seems to be quite whole - hard, even. I must pray to the have it made softer.
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.