From Publishers Weekly
During Queen Elizabeth's coronation summer of 1953, Rosie, a seven-year-old waif living above an Old Compton Street caf with the owners (a couple she calls Auntie Maggie and Uncle Bert), learns something about her unknown parentage in this captivating first novel. Granger, a native of London's bohemian Soho district, celebrates London low life a Dickensian rogues' gallery of pimps, prostitutes, con men, thieves and shady lawyers through the engaging voice of her endearing young heroine. "It's Edward VIII, miss," Rosie tells her teacher, eager to contribute to a class discussion about the new queen's family. "He was having it off with that Simpson woman, my auntie Maggie said so. Terrible it was. She was a divorced woman, miss, and still married to Mr. Simpson." As she talks of her school friends and neighbors, of a train trip, a beach holiday, a visit to a posh house as well as excursions closer to home, Rosie paints an earthy and entertaining picture of England a half-century ago. A high-speed chase, a kidnapping and blackmail provide the action, while the mysterious Perfumed Lady, the tart of the tale, supplies the tension. Readers expecting a conventional crime caper may be disappointed, but anyone who appreciates fine storytelling will eagerly await further word from Rosie in the sequel, The Widow Ginger, due next year. for fiction.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Granger's latest is a warmhearted fictional memoir of growing up in post-World War II London. Six-year-old Rosa Featherby has been raised by Auntie Maggie and Uncle Bert ever since her mother, Cassandra, deserted her at birth. Despite occasional visits from her mum, Rosa can't imagine leaving her aunt and uncle and their circle of friends. But after a girl at school tells everyone in the playground that Rosa's mum is a tart, Rosa starts worrying about whether her life with Maggie and Bert will be disrupted. As it turns out, she's right to worry. Her mum is from a wealthy family but ran away to avoid her abusive stepfather, who now wants to get his hands on Cassandra's share of the profitable family business. Unlike many modern stories, this one ends with both the good guys and the baddies getting their just rewards. Rosa's little-girl perspective gives the book a charm and naivete rare in modern fiction, and the nostalgia for the "good old days" is palpable. Maeve Binchy fans will enjoy it. Emily MeltonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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