Linda Lipko's Reviews > Search of the Moon King's Daughter

Search of the Moon King's Daughter by Linda Holeman
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's review
Feb 26, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: history, young-adult
Read in March, 2009

A sad, shockingly accurate depiction of Victorian England in 1830 during the industrial age when the elite and upper echelon held sway and power over the lives of the poor, and wretched downtrodden.

In a Charles Dicken's like fashion, rich in detail of the haves and have nots, Holeman takes us to the gritty, nasty streets of England cities where prostitution and mill work are a few of the only options for women, where children are sold to a life of climbing into and cleaning dirty chimneys, where food is miserly given to the hungry while the rich feast on sumptuous banquets, where the help are treated miserably and the rich have carte blanche to do with them as they will.

Emmaline, her father, mother and baby brother live a calm countryside existence. Rich in beauty of character, her father teaches her the poetry of Yeats and thus, Emmaline calls him The Moon King.

When Cholera takes the life of her father, her emotionally weak mother drinks herself into denial while at the age of ten Emmaline tries her best to fend for her brother and self.

Forced to flee to a mill town, Emmaline's mother obtains work in the factory where she is maimed by a machine. Out of work and a means of income, to quell the physical and emotional pain, Emmaline's mother becomes addicted to laudanum. In a drug induced state, she sells her small son Tommy to the men who use children as labor to clean the chimneys.

Against all odds, Emmaline, The Moon King's Daughter, searches for her brother in the hope to find and save him.

Highly recommended not only because of the well-researched material throughout, but also for the beautiful story of a sister who loves her brother with all her heart and will not cease until she finds him.
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