Kathryn's Reviews > Burning Bright

Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Feb 14, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012
Read from February 14 to 19, 2012

I enjoyed reading this book, as I have enjoyed all of this author’s books that I have read. It is an added plus that poet William Blake is a major character in this book, as I love his poetry (even if I have trouble at times understanding it).

The book is set almost entirely in 1792 London. A son of the Kellaway family in rural Dorsetshire died by falling out of a pear tree, and in attempt to ease his wife’s grief at the loss, chairmaker Thomas Kellaway has removed his wife, his teenage daughter, and the younger of his two remaining sons to the Lambeth section of London, at the airy invitation of Philip Astley, the owner of Astley’s Circus and Ampitheatre. Astley sets them up in lodgings; their next-door neighbor is Mr. Blake, who is considered cultured and odd by the neighborhood. By the end of March the four Kellaways are more or less settled, although missing Dorsetshire very much.

Foureen-year-old Jem Kellaway is just as much of a country mouse as the rest of his family, but he and his older sister Maisie (who is far too trusting for her own good) soon befriend Maggie Butterfield, who, born and raised in Lambeth, is very much a city mouse. Jem and Maisie contrive ro meet Mr. and Mrs. Blake (Mr. Blake enjoys quoting poetry to the two; when he says that some lines are from “Paradise Lost”, Jem thinks he has said “Pear tree’s loss”), and as the year 1792 advances (along with the plot), Jem, Maggie and Maisie and the Blakes find their lives intertwined.

I loved how this book made 1792 London come alive; not only the sights and sounds of London, but of the fear in London of revolutionary events going on across the Channel in Paris. (It is worth remembering that A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is set, at the end, in 1792 Paris.) And I am glad to have this book to add to those of the other books of this author that I have read.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Burning Bright.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

02/14/2012 page 0
show 2 hidden updates…

No comments have been added yet.