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Newes from the Dead Paperback – July 6, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—A grabber of a premise: It's England, 1650, and as the dissection of an ill-fated 22-year-old servant woman newly unstrung from the gallows begins, the participants detect the cadaver's eyes flickering. Hooper alternates perspective from Anne (the not-actually-dead corpse), who flashes back to explain how she ended up there, to that of a young intellectual attendee of the dissection, a sympathetic stutterer named Robert. Anne's story, rife with gruesome scenes of Puritan-era life (e.g., a rat-infested prison, a bloody miscarriage in a dirty privy) trumps Robert's drier account of the discourse among various distinguished intellectuals of the day, unless readers are well versed in the period's historical details (e.g., when Christopher Wren is teased for his poor poetry). The resulting back-and-forth of the two narrators makes for a poorly paced read, but the pervasive sense of injustice and indignity is vibrant enough to buoy readers through to the unexpectedly positive ending. Loosely based on a true story—hence the title, taken from broadsides published at the time—with a decidedly unromantic view of the era, this is a must-read for teens learning about Cromwell and the Puritan revolution, or for young feminists who appreciate narratives about the treatment of women in history.—Rhona Campbell, Washington, DC Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Newes from the Dead” was the name of a pamphlet that circulated in England in 1650 after a teenage housemaid, hanged for the crime of infanticide, awoke on the dissecting table. Hooper uses this case as the basis for a historical mystery that is creepy in the best Edgar Allen Poe tradition, as well as thought-provoking about sexual harassment and abuse. The story opens in a coffin, as the reader listens in on poor Anne’s frantic coming-to-terms with where she is and how she got there: her days as a servant, her seduction by a young lord, the accusation of murder. Anne’s thoughts, from coffin to dissecting table, are juxtaposed with a third-person narrative, centering on a nervous young surgeon who is on hand to witness and assist in the young woman’s dissection. Hooper explains that surgeons were allowed to conduct autopsies on criminals, and it's just such intriguing tidbits of Cromwellian history that add heft to this suspenseful novel. Give this to readers who prefer their historical mysteries straight up—without an overlay of fantasy. Grades 9-12. --Connie Fletcher --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Welcome to the story of Anne, a story that just happened to be based on real events.
I picked this book because xxxx mentioned it as one book that hasn't received enough attention but should. I TOTALLY agree with you Brandi.
I am not going to tell you why Anne was hanged, you need to read the book to find out by yourself :-)
After Anne was hanged, her body was to be dissected for medical studies. However, just when the first incision on Anne's body is about to be made, Anne's eyelids move... or so is though by everyone in the room.
How could she not be dead after she was hanged? What follows is an intense and funny set of procedures to determine if, in fact, Anne's body and soul are still on this world or the other.
Oh! Newes from the dead is lovely! I enjoyed every single moment of the story. Granted, I was mad at Anne for believing her master but, it's not much that she believed him but that she chose to do so.
Back to the writing, Hooper hypnotized me with her style. It was never too much, or too little but just perfect.
The ending: not a typical happy ending if you call it a happy ending at all. Since the story is based on the real life of Anne, it ended the way, I guess, it did centuries ago.
Most recent customer reviews
Anne wake up in a dark space.Read more