May 2017 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: deftly told mystery and coming of age story.
In Julie Beaufort-Stuart Elizabeth Wein has created a charming, original character, with a distinctive and irresistible voice. We meet her here as a teenager returned from boarding school to spend a last summer on her grandfather’s Scottish estate. The old man has died and the estate is being sold to cover his debts. Things quickly take a dark turn when Julie is knocked unconscious while out alone, and it’s also revealed that a scholar cataloguing the estate valuables has vanished. The blame falls on a family of Travellers. Set in 1938, the story is one of prejudice and class division as well as a coming-of-age story, and mystery. Wein is a very good writer, deftly weaving all the different strands together and creating a vivid portrait of the time and the setting as well as of her central character.~ Andrea Reece
Julie also appears in the equally riveting Code Name Verity, and The Pearl Thief is a kind of prequel.
Sixteen-year-old Julie Beaufort-Stuart is returning to her family's ancestral home in Perthshire for one last summer. It is not an idyllic return to childhood. Her grandfather's death has forced the sale of the house and estate and this will be a summer of goodbyes. Not least to the McEwen family - Highland travellers who have been part of the landscape for as long as anyone can remember - loved by the family, loathed by the authorities. Tensions are already high when a respected London archivist goes missing, presumed murdered. Suspicion quickly falls on the McEwens but Julie knows not one of them would do such a thing and is determined to prove everyone wrong. And then she notices the family's treasure trove of pearls is missing.
This beautiful and evocative novel is the story of the irrepressible and unforgettable Julie, set in the year before the Second World War and the events of Code Name Verity. It is also a powerful portrayal of a community under pressure and one girl's determination for justice.
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.
|Publication date:||4th May 2017|
|Publisher:||Bloomsbury Childrens an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 13+ readers|
|Other Categories:||Reviewed by Children|
Elizabeth Wein was born in New York, and grew up in England, Jamaica and Pennsylvania. She is married with two children and now lives in Perth, Scotland. Elizabeth is a member of the Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots. She was awarded the Scottish Aero Club's Watson Cup for best student pilot in 2003 and it was her love of flying that partly inspired the idea for Code Name Verity. Photo Credit David Ho 2018More About Elizabeth Wein