Another fantastic read to mark down for this year! I really think this book should win some type of award for originality...though I'm not very sure if it will. Never do the books I think should win ever actually win anything! At any rate, I really enjoyed this book, from an author I had never read before, and I look forward to seeing more from her.
A Drowned Maiden's Hair: A Melodrama was written by Laura Amy Schlitz, a first book for this author, follows 11 year old Maud Mary Flynn, an orphan residing at an academy for girls. Maud is a troublemaker, never stepping down to authority, often finding herself being punished and always being passed over for adoption. When Hyacinth, a rich old woman, arrives at the orphanage in search of a young girl to adopt, Maud has no hope that she'll be chosen, however, she is exactly the girl Hyacinth picks.
Maud is stunned, having been chosen as the girl Hyacinth and her two sisters want to adopt and remains in that state when she arrives at their stately home. At first, life now seems luxurious to Maud and she is determined to be a very good girl, doing whatever the sisters ask of her. When she learns that she was adopted in order to help them perfect the family business, she is still very willing to do whatever she has to, to make the sisters happy. When secrets about what the family business actually is begin to come out, Maud is all to happy to participate...at first. As she gets more and more involved, the readers see Maud's inner conscience begin to work against her and she isn't entirely sure that life at Hyacinth's house is as good as she first thought.
This novel was lovely. Fast paced, original, and exciting. The first sentence: "On the morning of the best day of her life, Maud Flynn was locked in the outhouse, singing, The Battle Hymn of the Republic" reeled me in and I was hooked until the last page. I immediately brought the book to my boss in the children's room (and fellow children's book lover) and told her she absolutely had to read it. Children and adults will be entranced with Maud's story and I definitely recommend you read it...soon!