Joan Aiken wrote a compelling story based loosely on early industrial England. The timeline isn't real, but that's what was drawn to my mind as we read through this book. The chapters are long so we often stopped half way through a chapter otherwise bedtime would get far too late.
Your child (if like mine) will get very angry during the story. There are some horribly nasty events in the book that had my son (and my own to be honest) blood boiling. We so wanted to give Miss Slighcarp a good talking to.
We were horrified at Mrs. Brisket and how she handled Sylvia, we wept with the children over Aunt Jane, and rejoiced with Simon being able to help Bonnie and Sylvia escape.
We learned how good it is to have people in your life who love you and care about what happens with you. Those people will risk much for you.
My son has informed me I am NOT to put this book into our sale or giveaway pile, because apparently he wants to read it again sometime, for himself.
That my dear readers, is the sign of a good book in my son's eyes.