Saturday, April 04, 2015

Scandalous Sisterhood A Zany, Madcap Adventure

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

The students at St. Etheldreda's School for Young Ladies have little love for their cantankerous headmistress, Mrs. Plackett.  Or Mr. Godding, her odious brother.  Still, when the two keel over during a routine Sunday dinner, the students are a little disheartened, for the dual deaths by poisoning have come at a most inconvenient time indeed.  If anyone in the small village of Ely were to discover the girls living at the school unchaperoned, all seven students would surely be sent home
.  Perish the thought.  None of them want to return to the confining pressures of family life, especially since doing so would mean losing contact with one another.  Naturally, they cannot allow this to happen.  Obviously, they'll have to hide the corpses and pretend that everything at St. Etheldreda's is as proper as ever.

Of course, it will not be easy.  Especially as the townspeople begin to suspect that something is not quite right at the boarding school.  As keeping up the deception grows more and more difficult, the girls become more and more suspicious—not just of Mrs. Plackett's various associates, but also of each other.  When the clues finally start making sense, the girls begin to see what really happened.  But can they unmask the murderer in time to save themselves and their school?  Or will they be done in by their own dishonesty?

I like an author who keeps me guessing.  Julie Berry fits the bill.  I've read two of her books and they're very different from each other.  Her first YA novel, All the Truth That's In Me, is a spare, but lyrical story about a young woman's quest to find her voice.  The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, her newest, is a middle grade Victorian murder mystery.  It's a wild, zany caper that's clever, funny, and enjoyable.  The girls' somewhat blase attitudes about the deaths of their supervisors is a touch disturbing.  Overall, though, the novel is a delightful madcap adventure.  Far-fetched, of course, but that's half the fun.  If you're looking for a light, engaging read that's both clean and amusing, look no further than this AML Award winner and Whitney Award nominee. 

(Readalikes:  Honestly, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:  


for violence and mild sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place from the generous folks at Macmillan.  Thank you!

11 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed the unique characters in this book. Glad you liked it, too!

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  2. Well I've enjoyed Berry's other books so I might just have to read this one too. It does look wildly fun.

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    1. You should. It's just a nice, easy, amusing read. Perfect when you want something light.

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  3. This sounds brilliant, I will be sure to check it out sometime soon! :)

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  4. This was a terrific read - albeit a bit unbelievable. One of those books that need suspension of disbelief, but a fantastic, crazy ride with funny scenes and dialogue and terrific writing.

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    1. No, it's not believable at all, but then, I don't think it's really supposed to be. That's part of the fun. I like a crazy, far-fetched read every so often!

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  5. I loved it--very PG Wodehouse. Though I think Berri's debut was the Amaranth Enchantment. :)

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    1. I'm not familiar with PG Wodehouse, but I loved the tone and humor of THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD.

      Also, you're right -- ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME is not Berry's debut novel and THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD is not her second. Duh. I'm not sure why I thought that?? I must have been a *little* tired when I wrote the post! I'm going to fix it now -- thanks again for bringing the errors to my attention!

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  6. Sounds cool, hadn't heard of it before :) Thanks for mentioning it!

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