Friday, April 28, 2017

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein

The Pearl Thief is Elizabeth Wein’s fourth book for young adults. While previous books have featured daring female pilots and WW2 heroines the heroine of The Pearl Thief is Julie; a 1930s Scottish aristocrat back from finishing school to help her mother close up her grandfather’s estate for the last time. Grieving for her grandfather and for the summers she used to have Julie meets a family of Scottish Travellers including brother and sister Ellen and Euan whose way of life is also being closed off and who meet disdain, prejudice and opposition at every turn. On top of this Julie and her new friends have mysteries to solve; what happened to visiting academic Dr Housman who has disappeared? Who knocked Julie unconscious? And what has happened to the pearls in her grandfather’s collection. It’s not all about the mystery though as there is also romance, humour and a lovely portrait of a way of life slowly coming to an end as the countryside changes and the threat of war looms. The struggles with class, poverty and a changing way of life are all deftly handled. Elizabeth Wein is a powerful and consummate storyteller. Beautifully crafted and unputdownable The Pearl Thief is a wonderful mystery, filled with nostalgia and a real homage to the author’s adopted home of Scotland, to the Scottish countryside and to a fading way of life. With echoes of I Capture the Castle and Agatha Christie this will be a real hit with slightly older fans of Robin Stevens, and Enid Blyton.

This book will be published on May 4th 2017.

With thanks to LoveReading and Bloomsbury for a copy. 

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