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This very well read (Anton Lesser) edition of the third of Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart trilogy is, like the other works in the series, rather darker than one quite expects, and not everyone or everything is better in the end. In other words, far more like real life than most. The story is compelling, the characters (mostly new in this book) are interesting and unexpected. The book can certainly be read standalone - there's really no requirement to read the earlier volumes - but some of the context is, obviously, lost.
This suspensefull and compelling novel is set in 19th century London, with a back drop of the pogroms in Eastern Europe and the non-entity of women. Sally is an independent financial advisor, with a child and no husband, who is thrust from her relatively privileged position into the East End. Her determination to survive, to protect her child and her reputation, and to overcome her enemy are mixed with the learning process of a privileged Londoner suddenly finding herself very much a part of the open sewer that was the East End. Where she makes new friends and unexpected allies in her fight.
Compelling listening, I found myself finding excuses to go on long drives so I could listen to this book. Highly recommended.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
While I agree that this may not be Philip Pullman's best book, it was very entertaining - not one dull moment, non-stop action and fascinating characters. And, as with every audio book I've listened to that's narrated by Anton Lesser, I was dazzled by his skill. He really creates people out of thin air. He conjures up a two-year old girl as beautifully as an elderly man, and he really seems to become the people. When Lesser narrates he even distracts from minor plot holes. It's a joy to listen to the range of accents he masters.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful