Set in London in 1792, Burning Bright, is the story of a Dorsetshire family who arrives in the great city with the hope of a better life, and to turn away from the tragedy they left behind. But for the children, Jem and Maisie, London proves to be a place where they must grow up quickly and be wary of strangers. They do find a friend in neighbor (and real-life personage), William Blake, who finds himself persecuted for printing his political opinions.
I’ve read 6 books by Tracy Chevalier, and this is the only one that fell short. I gather she really wanted to write about William Blake, but instead made him an incidental character. Her main characters, didn’t have enough of a story going to really captivate the reader, and that’s too bad, because Chevalier’s background of Georgian London was descriptive and exciting.
2 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2007