Hooper, Mary. The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose. Bloomsbury, 2006. ISBN 1582348545. $16.95. 336 p.
Reviewer: Kate Reynolds
Reading Level: Young adult
Genre: Historical fiction;
Subject: Gwyn, Nell, 1650-1687--Juvenile fiction; Identity (Psychology)--Juvenile fiction.; London (England)--History--17th century--Juvenile fiction; Books--reviews
When Eliza's stepmother kicks her out of the house, she goes to London to find her father. However, she ends up arrested for thieving. Rescued by Ma Gwyn's "kindness," she finds herself set up to be a prostitute. Ma's daughter Nell saves Eliza from that fate on a whim more than anything else. From there Eliza takes on a number of roles as she tries to make a living, find her father, and discover a place to call home. Eliza is a kind and likable character, part naive country girl and part independent woman, who learns and adapts quickly. The story is rich with historical details of life in seventeenth-century London. A short glossary of historical characters and places is included at the end. Hooper's writing style is easy to read and flows quickly. Although the title character does not participate in any unsavory activities, the society in which she lives overflows with prostitution, unwed intimate relations, and adultery. Some young readers might be offended.
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