Book Title: Another Twist in the Tale (available here)
Author: Catherine Bruton
Illustrator: Thy Bui
Publisher: Nosy Crow
Publication Date: November 2020
Most Suitable For: Upper KS2+
Reviewer: Gabrielle McConalogue
Another Twist in the Tale’ is a rip-roaring adventure set in the Victorian era. The 'twist' in the tale is given away right at the start and refers to a character rather than a plot device: what if Oliver Twist, that famous Dickensian orphan, had a twin sister? What would her story have been? Catherine Bruton's newly-invented ode-to-Dickens explores just this idea.
Twill Twist is Oliver’s older twin sister. Discarded on a rubbish heap for the unfortunate bad luck of being poor, an orphan and female, Twill is rescued by a kitchen maid and brought up in a notorious gambling den. From there, Twill begins her adventures through the dismal streets of Victorian London. Along her way, she meets some very familiar characters from both Oliver Twist and beyond, including The Artful Dodger and even Oliver himself.
The reader is immersed into Dickens’ London through the sights, smells, tastes and unique characters. There remains that dark, sinister quality we associate with his writing – summoning the feeling that you never know what dreadful thing may emerge from the shadows or how our the heroine’s fate may suddenly be altered in the blink of an eye. The story highlights the plight of girls and women during the Victorian era and sets a feminist tone, as we see the prominent, colourful, female characters strive to overcome the disadvantages of their plights and find their place in a world where power so readily falls upon the men.
Catherine Bruton, author of No Ballet Shoes in Syria, has a clear passion for the works of Charles Dickens and the story, settings and character depictions are a faithful tribute to his writings. This is an exciting and enjoyable story which I am sure will engage young readers, drawing them into a modern version of the world of Dickens.
You can listen to the first chapter here.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to our Review Panel member for reviewing it.
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