TITLE: BURNING BRIGHT
AUTHOR: TRACY CHEVALIER
After suffering a tragic loss in their native Dorset, the Kellaway family move to London, where they are like fish out of water.
Jem, the youngest of the Kellaways, soon befriends Maggie Butterfield, a streetwise London girl with a secret.
The Kellaway family move into a house next to where William Blake lives with his wife, and a friendship develops between Jem, Maggie and Blake.
But these are restless and dangerous times in London, where the French revolution causes fear and suspicion and demands for loyalty to the crown develop into terror and violence.
As Jem and Maggie discover life, each other and the responsibilities that live brings, they grow up and influence the lives of those around them.
A good read, but I felt the book didn't tell me enough. The blur on the book sleeve promises: "Their journey influences one of Blake's most entrancing works." But after finishing the book I still don't know what that work of Blake's is supposed to be. Did I miss something? Should I have known more about Blake before starting the book in order to identify that work of his? I don't know, but I would have preferred it if the book had delivered better on this promise.
Still, Chevalier writes a compelling story that does stand on it's own.