I loved Splendors And Glooms more than any previous book from Laura Amy Schlitz, and when I was talking about it with bookstore folks this summer, I described it as even more captivating than her earlier long YA novel, A Drowned Maiden’s Hair.
I’m probably violating some bookselling covenant by slighting her book that actually won the Newbery Medal (Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!), but that’s just me. I loved A Drowned Maiden’s Hair, and I loved Splendors And Glooms immediately.
Yesterday, Shelf Awareness published their starred review in their “For Readers” edition. An excerpt:
The author entwines the fates of a 70-year-old witch named Cassandra; a girl named Clara Wintermute, who's the only surviving child of a rich physician and his wife; and the wizard Grisini, who doubles as a gifted puppeteer. Grisini keeps his two orphaned assistants, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall, on a string as tight as those of his extraordinary marionettes. Clara catches sight of Grisini's puppet show in Hyde Park and decides that this should be the entertainment at her 12th birthday party. Schlitz weaves together the individual chapters, which move smoothly among the third-person viewpoints of each character, into an edge-of-your-seat tale.
Splendors and Glooms
by Laura Amy Schlitz
Candlewick Press | 9780763653804 | $17.99 | Aug 2012