Ring of Roses

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

Review

Abby has just accepted a job in the rich London household of Belle Vue, looking after the mistress's new baby, Grace. But this is the summer of 1665: the year of the Great Plague. As Abby begins work, whispers and rumours of the illness are beginning to spread, and it's not long before there is terror on the streets and people begin to take desperate measures.

Mary Hooper very effectively summons up everyday life in historical London – the layers of society, the plague-related superstitions – and builds the tension as we watch the spread of the plague through Abby's eyes. What will she do if it arrives in Belle Vue house?

The epidemic killed approximately 100,000 people in just 18 months; Ring of Roses is a thrilling introduction to what it may have been like to be there, and Abby has some tough decisions ahead of her.

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