Friday, 4 November 2011

Petals In The Ashes Review

Petals In The Ashes
-       Mary Hooper
Publisher: UK – Bloomsbury
Only one year after the city suffered such terrible losses during the Plague, London is recovering and Hannah convinces her parents that, with her younger sister Anne's help, she can return to the city and manage the sweetmeats shop on her own. The girls are thrilled to be back in London, and Hannah starts to look for her old beau, Tom. But before long her newfound happiness is short-lived as fires begin to spring up around the city and quickly move closer to their shop.
Petals in the Ashes is the sequel to At The Sign of The Sugared Plum which I reviewed a couple of weeks (read the review here). It picks up a couple of days later with Hannah and her sister having escaped the city of London and the plague. They slowly wait out the plague planning to return to their sweetmeats shop in the city. But just when they think it might be safe to return, something even worse threatens London.
The first half of this book covers Hannah time before she returns to the city and then once she returns to the city there is a build up to the start of the fire. Once it’s starts though, the tension is intense with people not sure what to do and as it spreads so does the fear and panic.
I absolutely adore how effortlessly Marry Hooper recreates the seventeenth century – the sights, sounds and smells just leap off the page and surround you. Added to which the characters are easily relatable and innocent without being too naive or weak. It just makes the time spent reading this book feel like coming home and collapsing into your old bed. Comfortable and at the same time different – but in a good way. Hannah has a personality you can’t help but like – I would love to be a friend of hers! I also loved how Hannah was keen to catch up with her sweetheart, Tom and how difficult it can be to connect with people in those days – no facebook for these people! J
A beautifully written historical book for teens with just the right touch of romance. I’m so happy I have plenty more of Mary’s books to read!
Recommended for fans of Peter Dickinson and Robert Westall. 8 out of 10.


  1. Oh I have not heard Robert Westall's name in ages. I really liked them when I was like 10 or something...I can't remember why but so good

  2. No FB? Sounds delightful! LOL This sounds like a sweet book and one I would enjoy. Thanks for the review!