Edith Holler

Books on Tape. Oct. 2023. 13:28 hrs. ISBN 9780593789193. $95. F
It’s 1901, and 12-year-old Edith Holler has been confined to her family’s theater in Norwich, England, for her whole life thus far; she’s warned that the building will literally fall to pieces if she leaves. Her one escape is through stories, so she writes a play about Norwich’s legendary Mawther Meg, a dreadful creature said to have kidnapped children and lived off their blood. When Edith’s father announces his engagement to heiress Margaret Unthank, Edith suspects something more sinister and hurries to protect her father, her play, and the theater she calls home. A sweeping Victorian fable that captures the imagination and sometimes the reality of a young girl held captive, Carey’s (Little) newest novel is emotionally impactful and full of horrors. Jayne Entwistle narrates young Edith and the cast of characters—living, dead, real, and imagined—with humor, sincerity, and just the right note of the macabre. Audio listeners miss out on the illustrations in the print version of the novel, but they are available on Carey’s website.
VERDICT A fantastical novel blurring the boundary between the real and the imagined. Listeners will be swept up into the world of Victorian Norwich as Edith breaks free from her bindings and comes into her own.
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