Synopses & Reviews
Ivy is used to being overlooked. The youngest in a family of thieves, scoundrels, and roustabouts, the girl with the flame-colored hair and odd-colored eyes is declared useless by her father from the day she is born. But that's only if you look at her but don't see. For Ivy has a quality that makes people take notice. It's more than beauty -- and it draws people toward her. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Which makes her the perfect subject for an aspiring painter named Oscar Aretino Frosdick, a member of the pre-Raphaelite school of artists. Oscar is determined to make his mark on the art world, with Ivy as his model and muse. But behind Ivy's angelic looks lurk dark secrets and a troubled past -- a past that has given her an unfortunate taste for laudanum. And when treachery and jealousy surface in the Eden that is the artist's garden, Ivy must learn to be more than a pretty face if she is to survive. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Julie Hearn, author of andlt;iandgt;The Minister's Daughterandlt;/iandgt; and andlt;iandgt;The Sign of the Ravenandlt;/iandgt;, has created a memorable tale of nineteenth-century England with a character destined to take her place alongside Dickens's Pip and Oliver Twist.
"Capturing her audience with her first sentences, Hearn (Sign of the Raven) paints an almost lush picture of a seamy 19th-century London as she describes two ladies from the 'Ragged Children's Welfare Association' who 'pick their way along filthy streets, the hems of their crinolines blotting up slush and the beads of their bonnets tinkling like ice.' (It's not surprising to learn that Philip Pullman was a mentor.) Among the ladies' intended beneficiaries will be the orphan Ivy, a Pre-Raphaelite beauty although she spends the bulk of the novel groggy on laudanum, an addiction she picks up very young. Ivy is practically passed around, half asleep, as more of a set piece about which other characters can frolic, scheme and swoon. Fortunately, there's plenty of spunk to go around on Ivy's behalf from the good-hearted con artist Carroty Kate, who takes the child Ivy in, to the bumbling, aspiring artist Oscar Frosdick, for whom Ivy models, despite the efforts of his conniving mother to keep her away. A fast and absorbing read. Ages 12 up. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
andlt;bandgt;Julie Hearnandlt;/bandgt; was born in Abingdon, England, near Oxford, and has been writing all her life. After studying to be a journalist, she worked in Australia and lived in Spain, before returning to England, where she worked as a features editor and columnist. She is now a full-time writer. Her first book published in the United States was andlt;iandgt;The Minister's Daughter.andlt;/iandgt;