Thursday 11 October 2012

The Truth About Verity Sparks

The Truth About Verity Sparks The Truth About Verity Sparks by Susan Green (Walker Books)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN 9781921720277
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Verity Sparks is an orphan, courageous and independent. Raised by people who loved and cherished her but who unfortunately died too soon, she is left to make her own way in the world after being thrown out by her drunkard uncle. She becomes an apprentice milliner at Madame Louisette’s Boutique during the late 1870s. The only reminders her loving life is a Russian wedding ring, a satin patchwork quilt, and a charm with a pattern of stars engraved on it. These tokens that her ma gave her just before dying hold a mystery attached to Verity’s real identity. She also has a valuable and unusual gift. Through her itchy fingers, she is able to find lost things.

At thirteen, she loses her job due to a vindictive rich client, and is left literally on the street. Here she is attacked by the riff-raff, and is saved by SP Plush, a member of the Confidential Inquiry Agency. Through a series of fortunate events and much kindness whilst in the Plush family home, she discovers that her gift can be honed and expanded. She also acknowledges that her life has changed forever. 

While her life improves with her new surroundings and her skills expand in surprising ways, she knows nothing of her past or her family. It is her ability to find things lost, to communicate with the dead that leads her to finally find the truth about herself.

This is a fantastic read! It’s fast-paced, full of mystery and heart-stopping adventures with strong, subtly included messages throughout.  It has the most interesting and entertaining characters a reader could hope to find in a children’s novel without a dull nanosecond anywhere. 

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