Velvet by Mary Hooper- Shortlisted - Published by Bloomsbury



This book is set in the turn of the nineteenth century in the heart of London. The main characters of the book are Velvet, a laundress who works supremely hard at her job, Madame Savoy, a medium who has a thriving reputation and George, who is Madame's loyal assistant and is considered to be very handsome. In this book a series of tragic and joyful events would entwine their lives, and there would always be a dark, deep secret lingering in the background.

I very much enjoyed this book, as it had a lot of twists and turns and you'd be smiling one moment and crying the next. One moment that I especially liked in the book was when Velvet's biological father comes to seek help from Madame Savoy. This adds an abundance of suspense and is a jaw dropping moment. At this point you are stunned that the book has got even better than it was already. I believe that the historical setting of the book was extremely realistic; it made me feel like I was there with Velvet. And I believe that this is an extremely skilful thing for an author. It surely made me want to learn more about that period of time, as, it seemed like quite a different scenario to today's society. It made me want to experience life in the beginning 19th century. The book made me want to read all the other books by Mary Hooper, particularly Fallen Grace, as I've heard that it is an amazing book, even though I haven't had the chance to do so yet, I am looking forward to it. This is surely a book I'd recommend everyone to read, as it is very thrilling.  

I wouldn't limit the age group for anyone to read this, as I believe this would interest the older and young readers alike. Thus, I believe pretty much anyone who would read this book would be stunned by the unexpected twists and turns. It has surely been one of the most breath taking books I have read. It was extremely hard to put down as each and every page was filled with suspense and surprise.

by Shirdi


I really enjoyed reading Velvet, because as soon as I picked it up the first day I got it, I read four chapters, and from then on I read it occasionally. At the beginning, I wasn't really understanding the storyline but a few chapters in, I was starting to get it and enjoyed reading it a bit more because I understood the elements of the story. I like the way the author portrays Velvet in the first couple of chapters because you see her change throughout the book. My favourite part of the story has to be at the end when she finally says yes to Charlie. Although, in the chapter before the last one, I thought she was going to die & I got a bit emotional but I was happy when she survived. Although I like happy endings, I'm not sure that it helped the story in any way because you always have the happy endings and it's like it's becoming a ‘have to have' element of a story, I think it would make a nice change once in a while to maybe end on a sad note.

I think that the history in the book is realistic & I like the way that at the beginning, the author mentions Queen Victoria's death, because even though it wasn't the main part of the history side to the story, it lets us know that the author puts a bit more thought into the story and adds little details, rather than just adding the main parts of history that are key for the story.

Although I liked reading this book, I don't think it would encourage me to read any more books written by this author because I don't really enjoy the way it gets into the main story line quite slowly & it takes its time. Overall, I think it is a generally good book and I would recommend it to other people who enjoy reading books with the history element in them.

by Abby

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