My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book about Agnes Trussel, a girl living in Sussex in the 1700s. She lives with her family on a farm where hard work and sometimes going hungry is the norm. After a man forces himself upon her and she realizes that she is pregnant, she steals some coins from a neighbor and runs away to London. Miserable and alone, she stumbles upon Blacklocks Pyrotechny where she is taken in and becomes an apprentice to the fireworks master, Mr. Blacklock. As Agnes grows bigger and fears that her pregnancy will be her undoing, she has to figure out what her next steps will be to keep her position in a field she finds she has an apptitude for.
I really enjoyed this book. The language is so beautiful and descriptive; I don't think I will ever forget the details of slaughtering a pig on the farm and collecting the blood to make sausage. The smells and sounds are vivid throughout. I liked Agnes and felt for her predicament in a time where the rape of a woman was probably her fault anyway and no one has mercy for a girl with an illegitimate child. Life was rough then. If you didn't have money, or a job, you really didn't have many options. I also liked Mr. Blacklock and I liked how he took mercy on Agnes.
The ending was different than I was hoping for, but still great. I will look forward to reading more of Jane Borodale's works in the future.
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