Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “At the Sign of the Sugared Plum (Sign of the Sugared Plum, #1)” as Want to Read:
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum (Sign of the Sugared Plum, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  2,608 Ratings  ·  227 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.

Popular Answered Questions

Sophie Keighley Yeah, the book is based on history, around the time of the plague, I wont give too much away. However it is a lovely read whether you're way into…moreYeah, the book is based on history, around the time of the plague, I wont give too much away. However it is a lovely read whether you're way into history or not. I defiantly say to give it a go! (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Dawn (& Ron)
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Lisa Vegan
Nov 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Vee ♔Under Mountain Books♔
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
Josephine (Jo)
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautifully written book aimed at teens or young adults but just as informative for the adult reader. The subject of the great plague of London is sensitively covered without leaving out the horrors suffered by the people and the awful fear of those living in the city at the time. Seeing it all from the perspective of Hannah, a young girl from the country who has just arrived in London impatient to see all the wonders of the great city. It is such a shock for Hannah and her sister Sar ...more
Virginia 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!)
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
AAAAAH I LOVED this book!!!! So much!!!! I couldn't stop reading it on the 8 hour plane! This story is historical fiction and it tells the story of the London plague beautifully. The basic plot is: Sarah, Hannah's sister, owns a sweet meat shop in London. For the summer, Hannah wants to go live with Sarah and help with her shop. Everything is going as planned.....UNTIL the plague hits London. Very very hard. Sarah and Hannah have to see everyone they know is pain, not knowing how to cure the pla ...more
G. Lawrence
A fair read, but whilst I understand it is aimed at the young adult market, it felt somewhat immature, especially when the protagonists hear of deaths in the neighbourhood. The loveliest parts were the descriptions of the sweetmeats and their making. A fair, and fairly interesting read
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
This was an interesting story which takes the reader back to London in 1665 where the plague is rampant. We watch Hannah change from a carefree, frivolous girl excited to be in the big city to that of a young woman troubled by nightmares of the real horror around her. At times the plot is a little thin, but it is still definitely worth the read.
Aug 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Mary Hooper describes the horrors of 17th century plague-ridden London. Through the eyes of a naive young country girl newly arrived in the city, we experience the growing sense of fear and dread as increasing numbers of people succumb to the terrifying disease.

At the back of the book are a few recipes for sweetmeats that were available in at that time.
Jo Barton
Oct 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Read for Reading History in Children's Books, and useful for that, but not something I particularly enjoyed.
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved this! written for young adults, but doesn't seem juvenile.
Rebecca E.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OMG! Such a great book. I received it from a retiring teacher a number of years ago and tried many times to read it but I just couldn't get into it. Now that I'm older, I decided to take another shot at it and this time it stuck. There are some parts of the book that were slow for me but that balances out with the sections that are full of important details to the story line. Over all, I totally would recommend this book to someone else (and have). On to the next on, hope I can find it. ❤
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: actual-book
I do not read a lot of historical fiction, mostly because it's just not something I really enjoy. I did however enjoy this book. I found myself constantly looking things up that were mentioned in this book and it was interesting to find out the author wrote this books based on facts. This book takes place in 1665 London during the plague. One of the really neat things came at the end of this book, several pages of recipes for the candies that were made at The Sugared Plum.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Hannah and her sister watch the Plague strike London as they work at their confectioner's shop.

Good thing: Hannah seemed realistic - her concerns were for fashions and a special boy right up until she realizes how Plague-struck the city is.

Bad thing: It's an easy read but nothing new or that I want to share with friends.

A fairly short, easy-to-understand novel of what living through the London Plague must have been like. I won't be reading the sequel.
Gabriella Cseh
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Élvezet volt olvasni a történetet. Ahogy elkezdtem, azonnal Londonban találtam magam. Remek stílus jellemzi a könyvet és a karaktereket is eltalálta a szerző. Mr. Newbury a kedvencem. Fantasztikusan írja le Londont, a pestis áldozatául esett londoniakat, akik a túlélésért könyörögnek.
Nagyon várom, hogy elkezdhessem a Szirmok a hamuban-t.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short but fabulous.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this little tale & found it quite atmospheric. I wasn't expecting it to recreate seventeenth century life in such a plausible way. I guess I was expecting a "sweet" tale (given the title!) but was quite impressed with this short dip into the time of the plague. Part of me would like a follow up, just to see if Hannah is ever reacquainted with Tom but on the other hand maybe I'd rather keep wondering...
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Apartment 255
  • Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children
  • A Rose for the ANZAC Boys
  • Halo
  • Kill the Possum
  • The Whisperer
  • Chasers (Alone, #1)
  • The Wizard of Rondo (Rondo, #2)
  • The Puzzle Ring
  • Daughter of Fire and Ice
  • The Silver Donkey
  • The Great Plague: The Diary of Alice Paynton, London, 1665-1666
  • The Staircase
  • Prisoner of the Inquisition
  • Eva Underground
  • No Shame, No Fear (Quaker Trilogy #1)
  • The Minister's Daughter
  • Anna of Byzantium
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 (2 books)
  • Petals in the Ashes (Sign of the Sugared Plum, #2)

Young Adult Deals

  • The Silent Shield (Kingfountain #5)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Orphan Train Girl
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Immortal Circus (Cirque des Immortels, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Alone
    $17.99 $2.99
  • Gateway to Fourline (The Fourline Trilogy, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Scourge of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #3)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Period 8
    $6.74 $0.99
  • The Blight of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #2)
    $3.99 $2
  • The Forsaken Throne (Kingfountain #6)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Caraval (Caraval, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Rebel Genius
    $6.38 $2.99
  • Dreamology
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Hour (Midnighters, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Blur  (Blur Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Insignia (Insignia, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Blood Rose Rebellion
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Unrivaled (Beautiful Idols #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology, #2)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Crown (The Selection, #5)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Space Between Heartbeats (Betwixt #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, #1)
    $4.09 $1.99
  • The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #1)
    $3.99 $2
  • The Girl from the Well (The Girl from the Well, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Reluctant Queen (The Queens of Renthia #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • When You Reach Me
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Thief's Daughter (Kingfountain, #2)
    $3.99 $2
  • The Queen's Poisoner (Kingfountain, #1)
    $3.99 $2.00
  • If I Was Your Girl
    $9.99 $2.99