While her mother cleans a grand house a young girl meets the homeowner who, recalling her own family’s immigration, gives her a charm bracelet and promises that she, too, can have a charmed life.
Tom Angleberger’s latest, loopiest middle-grade novel begins when M’Lady Luggertuck loosens her corset (it’s never been loosened before!), thereby setting off a chain of events in which all the strict rules of Smugwick Manor are abandoned. When, as a result of “the Loosening,” the precious family heirloom, the Luggertuck Lump (quite literally a lump), goes missing, the Luggertucks look for someone to blame. Is it Horton Halfpott, the good-natured but lowly kitchen boy who can’t tell a lie? Or one of the many colorful cast members in this silly romp of a mystery.
Class and gender inequalities of 17th-century England and the state of medicine at the time are explored through the real and gripping story of Anne Greene, an innocent young woman who was hanged and presumed dead, but awakens on the dissection table. Alternate chapters are narrated by Anne and Robert, an Oxford medical student.