'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 20 October 2023

Review: The Fortune Maker

Twelve-year-old Maud is poverty stricken and lives in a tiny house near the bog with her father. 

It is 1913, when urchins fight for survival in rat-infested surroundings on the streets. 

Seers ply their trade to the poor and rich, who try to manipulate into being, the things they are foretold.

Suffragettes march for women’s rights with frequent arrests, while the split between rich and poor, grows wider.

Maud and her dad save their pennies to realise their dream of escaping out of Silvertown and their present condition.

Their house sinks into the bog and all is lost with the pennies.

Her father dies in a freak accident and Maud is now destitute, sleeping in the closet of a large family as needy as she.

Escaping to the tunnels where all sorts of Seers gather to scratch out a living, Maud swaps her mother’s shawl for a foretelling, but is told something she already knows.

Abducted off the street after she picks up a yellow ribbon which falls from a girl’s hair, she is thought to have special powers due to a foretelling from a seer for the wealthy.

Life takes many twists and turns for Maud. So does this magical novel with its delicious sub-stories that keep the reader enthralled.

While Maud wrestles with the Alfords whose business is quickly losing money through incompetent handling, she meets people who stand up for the poor, that believe and fight for equality using their own methods, and who take Maud in and protect her.

This is a mystical adventure about strength, determination and changing times. Full of optimism even in the most desperate of situations, it shows how survival can be achieved through the worst or best experience, depending on the strength within to face whatever you are dealt.

A stunning, eye-catching cover equals the fantastic read.

Title: The Fortune Maker
Author: Catherine Norton
Publisher: Harper Collins, $22.99
Publication Date: 2 August 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978146715727
For ages: 10+
Type: Middle Grade Fiction