Author: Sally Watson
Genre: historical fiction, romance
My Rating: *****
Official Rating: Children's fiction
Age Group: 10+
Summary: Unfortunately for her, Lark's uncle is so sure it's God's will she marry his son that her uncle has kidnapped her to make sure she is raised properly. Lark is very sure she is not going to marry her cousin. Living under her uncle's care, Lark becomes a talented actress (though of course no one knows that). When the time is right, Lark runs away to Scotland.
Which apparently is not nearly as easy as she thinks. On her way, Lark runs into James. She's happy; he's got a problem. What's he supposed to do with a girl while on the king's business? How can he possibly remain chivalrous and leave her behind?
Word of Warning
- Lark's uncle kidnaps her, essentially to enact a forced marriage.
- Lark runs away.
- Lark pretends to be mentally ill, and her cousin wonders if it's because of God or the devil.
- Lark's uncle is a very strict Puritan. Because of her hate of him, she has a narrow view of God, at first deciding she doesn't like Him because He seems to be on her uncle's side. Eventually she comes around, but she still struggles now and then.
- Lark is locked up and kept prisoner.
- James is injured badly and gets very ill. Lark is left with tending to his bleeding wounds and trying to save his life.
- Willow, a Gypsy girl, flirts with James even though she's well aware she's supposed to marry Neco.
- Lark flirts with Neco to make James jealous.
- It takes Lark a good part of the book to discover she should not manipulate people with her acting abilities. She also never really gets over her tendency to manipulate James (though she does try).
- James is almost hanged, and it's clear that he's constantly in danger of being captured and killed by the enemy.
- A child (who happens to be a brat) is not punished, though eventually this changes.
- A different child is beaten (not severely, more like in punishment).
This was by far my favorite of Watson's books so far (though, I have to admit, I've only read two). The narrative voice for these books is simple, showing us a sort of naïve view of the world but in a sweet way. At times, the characters can be annoying (naïve gets frustrating after a while), but overall it was a good story.
Not to mention James, who is awesome, and all the fun little adventures he and Lark encounter. Indeed, this book is a great little story told in an innocent way, following two characters on their travels, both spiritual and physical.