Monday, May 25, 2015

Hush by Donna Jo Napoli

Buy here*
Publication date: 2007
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 308
My rating: 4 stars
Ages: 14+

Melkorka and her sister, Brigid, are captured to be sold as slaves as they are escaping from that very thing. Taken from Ireland, they are eventually separated, leaving Mel on the ship by herself. Choosing to remain silent, Mel finds power over her captor and leadership among the other slaves. Based on an Icelandic saga.

I have been reading Napoli since I was a tween, starting with Zel. Most of her books (all that I have read) are retold fairy tales, myths, and legends, which is part of why I like them. But I also like how she doesn't shy away from some of the grittier details, and doesn't condescend to the reader. With this in mind, keep in mind that most of her books do contain sexual situations.

I bought Hush sight unseen, based solely on Napoli's name. It's the tale of a girl who was born into privilege and expects it, but then has to learn and grow. Mel becomes a strong and complex character, caught between her new and old life. My only critique is that it ended so suddenly--I wanted a happier ending for her, a reunion with her sister or family. The author's note at the end made it better, once I learned about the legend surrounding her.

Good for those who like retold stories, fairy tales, and Ireland.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.

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