Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “At the Sign of the Sugared Plum” as Want to Read:
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

At the Sign of the Sugared Plum (Sign of the Sugared Plum #1)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,816 ratings  ·  196 reviews

‘You be going to live in the city, Hannah?' Farmer Price asked, pushing his battered hat up over his forehead. ‘Wouldn''t think you'd want to go there . . . Times like this, I would have thought your sister would try and keep you away.' Hannah is oblivious to Farmer Price's dark words, excited as she is about her first ever trip to London to help her sister in her shop ‘Th

Paperback, 169 pages
Published 2003 by Bloomsbury Publishing
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about At the Sign of the Sugared Plum

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Lisa Vegan
Jan 16, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like historical fiction, plague stories, stories about sisters
Recommended to Lisa by: Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I do love plague stories, and historical fiction stories, and coming of age stories, and I’m interested in the history of medicine, and there was quite a bit of all of those in this novel. I was particularly intrigued with the plague remedies and theories of the time.

There were particularly good descriptions of what London was like at the time (1665) and what the plague must have been like. I gradually grew to care deeply for the characters. Reading about the human suffering was palpable and hea
Dawn (& Ron)
Apr 06, 2012 Dawn (& Ron) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not royal HF, the Great Plague, time of Charles II
Recommended to Dawn (& Ron) by: Lisa Vegan
This book was recommended to me late last year by Lisa. My first thoughts were someone wrote a YA book about the Great Plague and made it interesting! It just seemed a difficult match to me, to make such a bleak subject work for this genre. It could easily turn into an anachronistic tale of a 21st century lass who flits into 17th century London to view events. So my interest immediately piqued, I had to see how this would be treated and made palatable for younger readers, be able to hold my atte ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Excellent historical novel about two sisters who struggle to survive the Great Plague of London in 1665. The author took her research from first-hand accounts, vividly bringing out the details of life and death at that time. The two sisters were candy makers, creating their confections from flowers and herbs, the details of which I found fascinating. Recipes for making some of these candies is included in the back of the book. This story is the first I've read by Mary Hooper, and it leaves me an ...more
Terri Lynn
In June of 1665, teenaged Hannah is delighted to finally be going to London to live with her older sister Sarah who owns and runs a sweets shop The Sugared Plum. She wants to live in the city and throw away the country lifestyle that bored her in exchange for the excitement of keeping up with the latest fashions, attending her first play, and finding an interesting man to spend time with.

Sarah is horrified when she arrives. She had sent a note to her that Hannah never received warning her of th
There are plenty of good reviews here, so I'll be brief. I'd never have picked this up except for my Children's Book group discussing it this month. But I'm so glad I did.

The dialogue was done beautifully - it 'sounded' natural and authentic, though of course it was in modern English, because Hooper got the rhythm right, and avoided all idioms that aren't common in both Hannah's era and ours.

I loved that there were minimal tropes - no guttersnipes with noble bearing, no brutal master making the
Ginny Messina
Wonderful historical novel for kids. Two sisters earn their living making confections in London as the Bubonic Plague of 1665 descends on the city. Great historical detail. You really can't beat the Bubonic Plague when it comes to fascinating disasters, and this story was especially good. The ending left an opening for a sequel, I thought. (I hope!)
This book did an absolutely fantastic job of capturing the sights, sounds, & smells of plague-ridden London in 1665, as well as the feelings of overwhelming fear, helplessness, & despair it caused in the citizens. In this way it reminded me a great deal of Laurie Halse Anderson's "Fever, 1793", as well as the great protagonist. Hannah is so excited to be leaving her sleepy village for the bustle of London, where she has always dreamed of going. Arriving at the shop where her sister lives ...more
Teenaged Hannah has lived all her life in the English countryside, so she is thrilled when, in the summer of 1665, her older sister Sarah invites her to come live with her in London and help her at her candy shop. However, arriving in London she finds Sarah had sent a second letter instructing her not to come. Plague has taken hold in London, and Sarah fears for Hannah's life. Hannah insists on staying, believing she will be safe. But to her horror, in the coming weeks more and more people die, ...more
Hannah is a young girl from the country, ready to live it up in the big city. The city is London & the year is 1665. Hannah doesn't know it yet, but her time in the big city is going to be filled with misery, because the plague has just begun claiming victims.

I can't say I know too much about the plague, and I'm sure that the authors descriptions although sometimes graphic, were no where near as horrible as the sights people of that era actually took it. I found the book one part education
I learned more about the fashion in 1665 than I ever wanted to know and almost gave up when the 5oth (at least it felt that much) dress was described. The story itself was pretty meagre and predictable - so what was it that kept me reading? Just the historical facts and because I like to read about London, no matter the century. But if I want to read about how an epidemic spreads and how it affects human nature I will always prefer The Plague by Albert Camus (not that you can compare both books ...more
Beth Bonini
When Hannah travels up from the country to join her sister's sweet-making business, she is eager to taste all of the experiences of the big city. Unfortunately, she arrives in London at the beginning of the summer of 1665 -- alongside the outbreak of the 'Great Plague', which will eventually kill an estimated one-third of London's population. Like most teens, Hannah is caught up in the concerns of her life, which range from disliking her freckles and red hair to learning a new craft to the excit ...more
First I have to say: what a fabulous title!

The historical and geographical descriptions in this book were outstanding. Late 17th Century Plague-ridden London, as the common people experienced it, was felt/seen/smelled/watched/navigated with authenticity and that was such a treat, as I have long had an interest in those things. Even with the bit of knowledge I possess already, I learned so many new things about what life was like for people who lived through that.

The story-telling was also compe
Jul 29, 2014 Vani rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a dark historical novel
The year is 1665. The place is London, England. Hannah, a 16 year old girl arrives in the city on the back of a farmer's cart, excited to discover the delights of London for herself. Summoned by her sister Sarah to assist at her sweetmeats shop, The Sugared Plum, Hannah is looking forward to indulge in the latest fashions and gossips of town. What she doesn't know is that London is about to transform tragically into the city of death, visited by the deadly plague pandemic.

In this story, Mary Ho
Leanne Bell
I haven't read any historical fiction in a while, mainly because I hadn't found one that interested me. I stumbled upon this in the Oxfam Bookshop (I love charity book stores, they're fun to explore!)and I bought it without any hesitation because I'd heard of Mary Hooper after reading one of Marie-Louise Jensen's books.

This turned out to be a really good historical read. I was suitably enthralled, disgusted and excited all at the same time. Enthralled by the events going on, disgusted by the pla
I really liked this one. It follows the story of a young girl, Hannah, who moves to London in 1665, just as the plague is taking hold of the city. Hannah and her sister Sarah are both fun and witty characters with a close relationship. They were easy to relate to and easy to care about. The book itself was compelling and the whole time I was very eager to find out how things would end. The book is also obviously very well researched which added to my enjoyment and appreciation of it.
I absolutely loved it. I greatly enjoy reading about plagues (don't ask me why, I just do. Another good plague book is Fever 1793 about the yellow fever. But that's another book. This one was great, and I loved it. It loses one star, because I feel like the author holds onto her charactes too much. I know it's hard to kill of a character, and the author did kill (view spoiler) one mainish character, but I think that one of the main character should have at least ...more
Jo at Jaffareadstoo
Set against the time of the great plague in London in 1665, this is a wonderfully atmospheric story of how the disease spread and left ordinary lives devastated and destroyed.I especially liked the characters of Hannah and her sister, Sarah.The story leaves you wanting more, so looking forward to the next book in the series.
Sally Whitehead
Written for young adults this book is ideal for any readers interested in historical fiction looking for a quick satisfying read.

Despite its shortness (160 pages-ish) it doesn't skimp on characterisation or plot as we follow Hannah as she arrives in London to assist her older sister in her sweetmeats shop "The Sugared Plum", only to have her view of the exciting and glamourous big city turned upside down by the "visitation" of the Plague.

The plot is simple and undemanding, but the depiction of s
Read for Reading History in Children's Books, and useful for that, but not something I particularly enjoyed.
loved this! written for young adults, but doesn't seem juvenile.
"Die Schwester der Zuckermacherin" entführt uns ins London des Jahres 1665 und vermittelt dabei vor allem für jüngere Leser von zehn bis 14 einen guten Eindruck über das Leben während der Frühen Neuzeit. Man erfährt vor allem viel über die Pest und den Aberglauben der Menschen zu jener Zeit. Ältere Leser, die sich schon mit diesen Themen beschäftigt haben, werden wohl wenig Neues erfahren, aber sicherlich trotzdem ihre Freude an diesem Buch haben. Die eingestreute Liebesgeschichte zwischen der P ...more
"Die Schwester der Zuckermacherin" habe ich schon einmal vor Jahren gelesen und damals sehr begeistert von der Geschichte gewesen. Und auch jetzt, beim zweiten Mal lesen, habe ich mich von Mary Hooper gerne in das London des 17. Jahrhunderts entführen lassen, obwohl die Zeit der Pest sicherlich nicht schön war. Im Gegenteil! Wie schrecklich sie tatsächlich war wird dem Leser schonungslos (und absolut authentisch) vor Augen geführt. Hannah, für die es immer ein Traum war eines Tages zu ihrer Schw ...more
Actual rating 3.5
My aunt bought me this book yeeeeeaaars ago (2006 to be precise) when we went to the Globe Museum Shop in London.
I do not know why it has remained unread til now, that's insane, especially as it has less then 200 pages.
Must have always slipped my eyes somehow, skinny-minny thing that it is.
I finally finally read it!
And it was a really good solid read.
I think I would have enjoyed it even more eight years ago, because then I read all sorts of ya historical fiction set in th
Nicole Molden
I absolutely love this book, I was given it in school as a 'welcome to high-school gift' I was petrified... Firstly because we got to pick the book we wanted and I thought people were going to laugh at me for choosing the historical choice, secondly I thought I wasn't 'developed' enough to read a book about such a remarkable part of British history! But one day I started reading it and I loved from the beginning to the end, characters were amazing, storyline was impressive and it was a page-tune ...more
Shanna Gonzalez
Hannah and Sarah are teenaged entrepreneurs, sisters running a shop in 1665 London wherein they make sugar-frosted rose petals and other sweetmeats for the nobility. Hannah, who has recently joined her sister, is excited at the prospect of a big-city life and complacently dismisses rumors that the Bubonic Plague is reawakening in London. By the time she realizes her optimism is unfounded, the city is quarantined and she watches in horror as neighbors succumb, one by one, to the mysterious sickne ...more
Vickie Ramage
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum is a very quick read about a young girl's experiences in London, during the Plague. It's told in the usual Mary Hooper fashion, a lot of attention to detail with a very rich, vivid storyline and a very likeable heroine.

Hannah did annoy me at first because she was a very stereotypical, 'fresh from the country' girl, she's very naive and the only things on her mind are getting rid of her freckles and the latest fashions. However, after seeing all the horrors of the
This is the second book in two weeks I’ve read set in the 1600s and I have to confess this is the book that most vividly invokes the period. Mary Hooper is celebrated for her historical YA books and after reading my first book from her I can understand why. The writing is simple and elegant, effortless painting pictures, sounds and smells of the period. In fact I just fell in love with Mary’s style of writing and descriptions!

The story focuses on Hannah, a young girl from the country who moves t
Nicely done and well written young adult historical fiction. This author has a real talent for dropping the reader into the period and getting the fell of the setting and giving you characters to feel about with minimal set-up. She doesn't even stint on the realities of the situation although it is not as detailed as one would find in an adult novel of course. As described this a brief story set during the start of the London plague on 1665. I only have one minor problem with book and that is it ...more
London 1665 – die 16jährige Hannah geht zu ihrer Schwester nach London, um ihr im Zuckermacherladen zu helfen. Die große Stadt mit ihrem bunten Treiben zieht sie magisch an, sie lernt andere Menschen kennen und lieben, darunter auch den Apothekerlehrling Tom, der ihr schnell ans Herz wächst. Doch die Pest breitet sich schleichend in London aus und rückt jeden Tag ein Stückchen näher.
Ein wundervolles Buch, das mich rasch in seinen Bann gezogen hat. Voller Leben und detailreich wird das historisch
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper is a story of a young woman, Hannah, in an unusual setting: London in the time of the plague. She comes from her home in the country to London, to work with her sister Sarah in her confectionery shop. Unfortunately, Hannah arrives in London just as reports are starting to surface about people becoming ill and dying of the plague. The story weaves in friendships with a girl from Hannah’s hometown, Abigail, as well as a new friend, Tom, who works for ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children
  • Halo
  • The Whisperer
  • Kill the Possum
  • A Rose for the ANZAC Boys
  • The Silver Donkey
  • The Lady in the Tower
  • The Tamarack Tree
  • The Staircase
  • The Puzzle Ring
  • The Wizard of Rondo (Rondo, #2)
  • Chasers (Alone, #1)
  • Prisoner of the Inquisition
  • Evvy's Civil War
  • The Great Plague: The Diary of Alice Paynton, London, 1665-1666
  • No Shame, No Fear (No Shame, No Fear #1)
  • The Minister's Daughter
  • Pieces of my Heart
British children's and young adult author Mary Hooper was born in 1944, in Barnes, South West London. She left school at fifteen, and went to work as a window dresser, and then as a secretary. She eventually returned to school, as an adult student, earning a degree in English from Reading University. Hooper began her writing career with short stories, publishing in women's and teen magazines. Her ...more
More about Mary Hooper...

Other Books in the Series

Sign of the Sugared Plum (3 books)
  • Petals in the Ashes (Sign of the Sugared Plum, #2)
  • The Fever and the Flame
Newes from the Dead Fallen Grace The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose Petals in the Ashes (Sign of the Sugared Plum, #2) Velvet

Share This Book