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At The Sign Of The Star (2002)

At the Sign of the Star (2002)
3.61 of 5 Votes: 2
0374404585 (ISBN13: 9780374404581)
farrar, straus and giroux (byr)
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At The Sign Of The Star (2002)
At The Sign Of The Star (2002)

About book: This YA novel is set in London about a decade or so after the Great Fire. The point of view character is a young girl (supposedly 12 years old) whose father is a bookseller and whose mother is no longer living. Because she is her father's only living child, she is indulged and encouraged to be involved with his business, and she expects to inherit it eventually. This changes when her father remarries and his new wife gives birth to a son.The story is about how the girl deals with this disappointment, and about how she learns other ways that she can reach her goals of independence and education. I had a hard time believing that she was actually only twelve because she seemed more mature than that intellectually. However, she seemed younger than twelve when she was acting spoiled. As the story continued, she began learn to be more unselfish, though at first it was through trying to get her own way--she found that she was actually happier when she was being kind than she had been when she was being mean.It's an interesting look at the time period, and I am willing to try reading the sequel (set about four years later), to see if she has grown up at least a little, emotionally.

If you can imagine Wives and Daughters written for a younger audience, with no plot except the main one about the daughter adjusting to the arrival of a stepmother, and transposed into the 17th century, you've have an approximation of At the Sign of the Star.Not much really happens in this middle-grade novel, but the setting of a London bookseller's shop in the age of Dryden, Wycherley, and Behn is convincingly evoked and engaging, and the heroine has appeal--she's intelligent and independent, of course, but other attributes do make her seem a product of her time. I'm interested enough to seek out the sequel.
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You had me at "only child of a bookseller with a thriving business in Restoration London." Points for an unusual time period in youth lit. I kept expecting it to turn into a Jane Eyre style epic, given Meg's preoccupation with her future, and heyyy look it has a sequel! Now I can get closure on her marriage prospects and literary career :) Unfortunately I found this book through weeding in my library... it had never been checked out. Oh well, I kept it and perhaps I will find the right bookish girl to recommend it to!
Motherlesss until father remarriesSusannah, her father’s new wfe, wants to prepare Meg to be wife & motherMeg unhappy sees Susannah as threat her inheritance; and then Susannah becomes pregnant and now Meg knows that she will have no inheritance if the baby is a boyMeg also begins to write but knows that the chances of a woman being published is very slimIn seventeenth-century London, Meg, who has little interest in cooking, needlework, or other homemaking skills, dreams of becoming a bookseller and someday inheriting her widowed father's book store.
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