Friday, 19 February 2010

Great Listen

Finished February 19
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, read by Jayne Entwistle
This lovely book was a joy to listen to and finished this morning just as I pulled into the parking lot at work. Told from the perspective of a precocious 11-year-old girl in the summer of 1950, it gives a real feel for the time. Flavia, her two older sisters, Daphne and Ophelia, their father and his man, Dogger, live in a decaying English mansion named Buckshaw. Flavia has a passion for chemistry and has her own laboratory where she engages in experiments.
This summer a series of events happen to shake her world. First a dead bird is found on the doorstep, with a postage stamp impaled on its beak. Flavia notes that this shakes her father, and thus the mystery begins. When, hours later, Flavia comes across a dying man in the cucumber patch, things really begin to move. Flavia takes it upon herself to figure out what is going on and as she does her investigations she rides her bicycle Gladys all over the countryside. From rooftops to pits, cemetarys to police stations, Flavia forges ahead, uses her scientific instincts and gets to the heart of the problem.
The reader did a lovely job of giving voice to this young detective, and she came alive for me.

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