Oliver Twist meets Roald Dahl's The Witches.
I've always been fascinated by the spiritualists and the seances held during the Victorian era, especially the lengths the spiritualists would go to in order to be believed. So when I heard about the setting and synopsis for this book, I knew I wanted to read it.
The story is told in third person from three different viewpoints. Leander, an orphan who is lured into Madam Pinchbeck's clutches with the promise of money and a chance to speak to his recently deceased mother. Charlotte, a young girl taken from a wealthy family and Felix, who willingly joined Madame Pinchbeck's entourage in the hope of finding his brother.
These children are from very different backgrounds and yet they come together to create their own version of a family and you are rooting for them from the very start. Their loyalty to each other is heartwarming.
The atmosphere in this book is dark and creepy. It had a real Dickensian feel to it. The language is so descriptive and sensory, you find yourself swept back in time.
Madame Pinchbeck is a spectacular character. Swaying from kindness to cruelty with a snap of her fingers, the children never really knew whether to trust her or not. She would definitely give Cruella De Vil a run for her money.
I adored this book! It's bursting with magic. I found myself completely absorbed in it and finished the second half of it in a day. I was desperate to find out how it would end. It is an outstanding debut and I can only see the author going from strength to strength. I can't wait to see what she writes next.
This book was gifted to me by Simon and Schuster in an exchange for an honest review.