Friday, December 21, 2012

Book Review: Newes from the Dead by Mary Hooper

Newes from the Dead by Mary Hooper
Release Date: 6th July 2010
Publisher: Baker and Taylor 
Format: eBook 
Pages: 272
Rating: 4.5/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2012 OTS Challenge

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free deliveryAnne can't move a muscle, can't open her eyes, can't scream. She lies immobile in the darkness, unsure if she'd dead, terrified she's buried alive, haunted by her final memory—of being hanged. A maidservant falsely accused of infanticide in 1650 England and sent to the scaffold, Anne Green is trapped with her racing thoughts, her burning need to revisit the events—and the man—that led her to the gallows.
Meanwhile, a shy 18-year-old medical student attends his first dissection and notices something strange as the doctors prepare their tools . . . Did her eyelids just flutter? Could this corpse be alive?"

I really liked the premise of this story. A girl, just a normal girl, survives her hanging. Her hanging. That's not something that happens. And, this story was based on a true story. Now I made sure to read the authors notes, and there was in fact a girl named Anne Green who survived her hanging. A person who actually did exist, survived a hanging. I'm sorry, I probably sound like I'm banging on about this, but don't you just find that amazing? That doesn't happen, people don't survive public executions, especially if they occurred the way it was described in this book. The fact that this book was based on a true story was a massive plus for me. It made the story so much more interesting.

So, to actually get to the story, I really, really enjoyed it. Granted, you know where the story is going to go from the beginning, but it was still really interesting to read the journey that took us from Anne's hanging to her revival. What I enjoyed was that the story had two narrators; Anne, who told us her story and established for us why she was hanged in the first place, and Robert, who details her (planned) dissection which turns into a resurrection. All of it was fascinating to read, and I found that I didn't have a preferred narrator either. Sometimes, I find that books with more than one narrator can have the problem where I don't like the narrators equally, and so I end up rushing through certain chapters or dragging through others. I'm glad to say that this wasn't the case for this novel.

Probably the only thing I didn't like was the character of Sir Thomas. He was in the background being very mad and angry, and it just annoyed me. I got to the point where I just skipped over whatever dialogue he had; his incessant yelling didn't need my attention. Overall, this novel was a great read - a solid plot, great characters, and a happy ending. 

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