"Ye toads and vipers," the girl said, as her granny often had, "ye toads and vipers," and she snuffled a great snuffle that echoed in the empty room."
It is 16th Century Elizabethan London and 13 year old Meggy Swann, with her deformed legs and walking sticks, has just arrived from the country to live with the cold and distant father she has never met. But once this father, the odd and unfriendly Alchemist, realizes she is both deformed and female, Meggy is left to fend for herself-- virtually and then literally abandoned-- her only friend the equally bad tempered goose named Louise. But Karen Cushman's hallmark is the strong female character and Meggy is at the top of the list. She makes her way-- finding friends and allies and creating a life for herself that is both positive and believable within her historic context. I love Cushman-- for her strong female characters, clever and likable as well as for the beautiful and luscious language she employs to carry us away. Great for girls and anglophiles and lovers of Shakespearean insults.
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