My book review of 'The Mermaid in the Millpond' by Lucy Strange
Bess thought a job at the cotton mill would give her a fresh start. Surely this rural setting would be better than the London workhouse.
But food is scarce and life is cruel. There are even rumours of a vicious creature living in the millpond.
One night Bess sees something moving in the dark water below. Will it hurt her, or will this be her route for escape?
The poverty and hardship of Victorian life is powerfully evoked, without excess or indulgence, and the story moves along with just the right pace and content. The mermaid is lightly drawn and in keeping with the gothic theme.
From the Barrington Stoke stable, this story is aimed at a reading level of eight years, but with an appeal of 8-12 years, and beyond. I loved it.