*This post contains affiliate links*
The Strange Adventures of H by Sarah Burton captures the story of a young girl growing up in 17th Century England. H as she is called, chronicles daily life, both in the time leading up to the Plague and Great Fire of London and it’s aftermath.
She records her many hardships and adventures (with more hardships than adventures to say the least)–growing up as a penniless orphan, estranged from some of her sisters, and at the mercy of her kind, though unknowing Aunt and her licentious cousin, Roger.
When the Plague snatches everything that she has held dear, H is thrown into a dangerous and contagious world. Finding herself penniless and homeless, as well as friendless, she has to fend for herself in the Plague-ridden streets of London, where she must use both her will and her wits to survive.
It is here, in her desperateness, she chooses a new way of living and her story veers off in a totally new direction, making up a good part of the novel.
Although the opening prologue drew me in with it’s both shocking and suspenseful narrative, I found that after the first part of the book I began to lose interest with the protagonist and her story. I perceived H as a somewhat naive and over trusting character, although she did have an endearing and likeable side to her. As the plot progressed, however, I discovered I didn’t get to invest deeper with H’s character as she matured.
I also didn’t realize where the majority of the book would be set, and this made me feel uncomfortable when I discovered this. I am a more sensitive reader, and while this may not bother others, it did me.
All that said, many people have loved this book and I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading it themselves. It just wasn’t for me.
P.S. The cover is simply gorgeous!