Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wynfield's Kingdom by Marina J. Neary


A Tale of the London Slums.
 
Welcome to 1830's Bermondsey, London’s most notorious slum, a land of gang wars, freak shows, and home to every depravity known to man. 
Dr. Thomas Grant, a disgraced physician, adopts Wynfield, a ten-year old thief savagely battered by a gang leader for insubordination. The boy grows up to be a slender, idealistic opium addict who worships Victor Hugo. By day he steals and resells guns from a weapons factory. By night he amuses filthy crowds with his adolescent girlfriend—a fragile witch with wolfish eyes. Wynfield senses that he has a purpose outside of his rat-infested kingdom; but he never guesses that he had been selected at birth to topple the British aristocracy. “Neary writes with unbelievable power, yet never loses her sense of emotional insight…. Wynfield’s Kingdom is truly an extraordinary first novel…”

WYNFIELD'S KINGDOM is a dark novel about the slums of Victorian England. The plight of abandoned children, orphans, and women, hunger, exploitation, depravity, and the horrendous dire circumstances of the lower classes is explored in this gripping, Dickens-like novel. At the heart of the novel are two main characters, Wynfield and Diana, both who respond in vastly different manners to their past sufferings and current dilemmas.

The author writes with vivid candidness, her characters compelling, her attention to historical detail impeccable. This is a novel that allowed me to slip into the story and remain there even after I finished reading. There were plenty of plot twists and suspenseful scenes that kept me reading long into the night. If you enjoy dark novels that have a powerful storyline and that depict both the glory and degeneracy of human nature, then do not let this book pass you by. Highly recommended.

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