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)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,532 ratings  ·  184 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

...more
Kindle Edition, 180 pages
Published July 4th 2011 by Bloomsbury Childrens (first published January 1st 2003)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,765)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dawn (& Ron)
Apr 06, 2012 Dawn (& Ron) rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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...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...more
Cheryl in CC NV
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...more
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!)
Brett
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
Rebecca
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
Kristy
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...more
Kruemi
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
Robin
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...more
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...more
Nicola
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.
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.
Hallie
Read for Reading History in Children's Books, and useful for that, but not something I particularly enjoyed.
Kristen
loved this! written for young adults, but doesn't seem juvenile.
Lulufrances
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.
ANyway.
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...more
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 (Under The Mountain)
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...more
Mel
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...more
Kiri
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
Sabine
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...more
Luna
If anyone ever asks me for recommendations when it comes to historical fiction I always tell them to start with a Mary Hooper novel.

Whether is first or third person narration, Mary Hooper’s writing pulls you in and keeps you turning the pages until you’ve reached the end. The language is beautiful, the word-building exquisite (I’ve always wanted to say that in a review and now I finally can) and the characters are wonderful.

At the Sign of the Sugared Plum is no exception. Hannah travels to Londo...more
Barbara
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
Allison
I didn't have very high expectations for this book, but I was interested in reading about the creation of "sweetmeats", and stories on plague are generally pretty interesting. The book was about as good as I expected- it wasn't amazing, but it was a fast, entertaining read. I rather liked Hannah's character and her romance with Tom was a nice ray of sunshine in otherwise dark times. I was also amused when Nell Gwynne made an appearance, since I just read a book entirely about her (The Perfect Ro...more
Annika
Hannah kommt nach London, als dort gerade die Pest ausbricht, um ihrer Schwester in deren Laden zu helfen. Trotz der Bedrohung durch die totbringende Krankheit will das junge Mädchen London nicht verlassen. Hannah sieht die Pest zunächst als Abenteuer, welches das Leben um einiges spannender macht, als es zu Hause auf dem Land gewesen ist. Und schließlich ist sie ja auch jung und gesund, ihr und ihrer Schwester wird schon nichts passieren.

Hannah muss bald einsehen, dass die Pest kein Abenteuer i...more
Bine
Ich mochte das Buch sehr!
Es hat alles, was ich mag. Es spielt in London, es ist historisch super recherchiert und es gibt eine Liebesgeschichte, die aber nicht allzu kitschig ist und nicht im Vordergrund steht. Für mich ist es eindeutig ein Mädchenbuch, ich denke nicht, dass Jungs damit etwas anfangen könnten, weil es eben aus der Sicht eines sehr romantischen jungen Mädchens geschrieben ist, dass auch noch etwas naiv ist, allerdings nicht allzu störend. Ich war als junges Mädchen nicht anders.
B...more
Preshilla
This is a wonderful book! One of the best novels I have ever read. It takes place in London in 1665 when Hannah got a letter from her sister that she needs her help to manage her shop, The Sugared Plum. But Sarah send her another letter to stay away. Hannah gets excited but she doesn't get the welcoming that she expected. The bills of mortality rate are being published every week and London has caught the Plague. Then Tom and Hannah travel to Chelsea to pick flowers and shrubs to make remedies t...more
Roxy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 92 93 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Whisperer
  • Halo
  • Kill the Possum
  • A Rose for the ANZAC Boys
  • The Puzzle Ring
  • The Wizard of Rondo (Rondo, #2)
  • The Silver Donkey
  • The Lady in the Tower
  • The Great Plague: The Diary of Alice Paynton, London, 1665-1666
  • Prisoner of the Inquisition
  • Brides of Eden: A True Story Imagined
  • Chasers (Alone, #1)
  • No Shame, No Fear (No Shame, No Fear #1)
  • The Staircase
  • Pieces of my Heart
  • Ever After (Trylle Bonus, #3)
  • The Hunger: The Diary of Phyllis McCormack, Ireland, 1845-1847
  • Whisper My Name
139257
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...
Newes from the Dead Fallen Grace The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose Petals in the Ashes Velvet

Share This Book