Friday, April 29, 2011

A Brief History of Montmaray (YA)

A Brief History of Montmaray. Michelle Cooper. 2009. Random House. 304 pages.

23rd October 1936
Dear Sophie,
Happy birthday to my favorite little sister! I've been trying to recollect the day you were born so I can gush about it in an appropriately sentimental fashion, but I'm afraid it's all a blank.

Sophie FitzOsborne lives an isolated life with her younger sister, Henry, her cousin Veronica, and her mad-uncle John who happens to be King. Except for a handful of villagers and/or servants that make up the "kingdom" of Montmaray, they are the island's only residents. (Toby, her brother, and Simon, the housekeeper's son, being away in England for most of the novel.) But they may not stay isolated for long. The year is 1936, and for whatever reason--bad luck, bad timing, whatever--the Germans have become interested in the island-kingdom. Small though it may be, there is a library in the castle that one or two visiting Germans would just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to be allowed to explore. But with mad-uncle John still incredibly, fiercely angry at the Germans because of The Great War, the two girls (Sophie and Veronica) dare not let them near the castle. For who knows what King John would do if he discovered Germans on HIS island.

Sophie, our young heroine, is coming of age at an increasingly dangerous time. Plenty of tension and conflict when it comes to European politics and the like. And of course, there is the every day drama of growing up. Should Sophie accept her aunt's invitation to "a season" in London? Should Sophie leave her island home for a big, grand adventure in the city? Her aunt's invitation included Veronica as well. But Sophie knows it would take a LOT of convincing to get Veronica off the island. Because she is VERY VERY busy writing a "Brief History of Montmaray." Sophie may just discover that "love" is a tricky business too.

Historical fiction with plenty of mystery--lies, secrets, murder!

I very much enjoyed Michelle Cooper's A Brief History of Montomaray. I can't wait to begin the sequel, The FitzOsbornes in Exile, which was released this month.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Alex said...

I read Michelle Cooper's A Brief History of Montmoray and also loved it. I have the Fitzosbornes in Exile, but haven't read it yet.

The Judgement is new to me, but I will check it out.