Alchemy and Meggy Swann

By Karen Cushman

Fans of Karen Cushman's witty, pleasing novels will welcome Meggy Swann, newly come to London along with her simply buddy, a goose named Louise. Meggy's mom was once blissful to be rid of her; her father, who despatched for her, does not wish her in the end. Meggy is appalled by way of London, soiled and noisy, filled with rogues and thieves, and hard to get round in—not that obtaining round is ever effortless for someone who walks with assistance from sticks. simply as her alchemist father pursues his nice paintings of remodeling base steel into gold, Meggy reveals herself pursuing her personal transformation. Earthy and colourful, Elizabethan London has its darkish aspect, however it additionally has presents in shop for Meggy Swann.

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Poverty—Fiction. four. Fathers and daughters—Fiction. five. London (England)—History—16th century —Fiction. 6. nice Britain—History—Elizabeth, 1558–1603—Fiction. ] I. name. PZ7. C962A1 2010 [Fic]—dc22 2009016387 synthetic within the U. S. A. document 10 nine eight 7 6 five four three 2 1 4500215780 * * * For Leah, for her light braveness and her gentle center * * * The assembly of 2 personalities is like the touch of 2 chemical compounds; if there's any response, either are reworked. —Carl Jung * * * * * * 1573 After the accession of Elizabeth I to the throne of britain yet afore London's first theater and Shakespeare ONE "Ye toads and vipers," the woman stated, as her granny usually had, "ye toads and vipers," and she or he snuffled an exceptional snuffle that echoed within the empty room. She was once on my own within the unusual, darkish, chilly, thin condominium. The carter who had trundled her to London among baskets of cabbages and sacks of flour had long gone domestic to his porridge and his beer. The flop-haired boy within the brown doublet who had proven her a straw-stuffed pallet to sleep on had left for his personal accommodations. And the tall, peevish-looking guy who had known as her to London yet didn't want her had wrapped his sadness round him like a cloak and disappeared up the darkish stairway, fie upon him! Fie upon all of them! She used to be on my own, with out one to maintain and help her. no longer even Louise, her precise and simply good friend, who had fallen asleep behind the cart and been neglected. Belike Louise used to be on her long ago out of the city with the carter, leaving the woman right here worried and hungry and on my own. Ye toads and vipers, what was once she to do? She sat shivering on a stool as unsteady as her humor, and tears left shining tracks like spider threads on her cheeks. Her identify used to be Margret Swann, yet her gran had known as her Meggy, and she or he used to be newly arrived from Millford village, a day's journey away. The little bit of London she had obvious was once all soot and slime, noise and stink, and its streets have been slender and darkish. Now she used to be imprisoned during this unusual little condo on Crooked Lane. Crooked Lane. How the carter had laughed whilst he realized their vacation spot. Darkness comes past due in excessive summer time, yet come it does. Meggy may possibly see little of the room she sat in. used to be there foodstuff the following? A cooking pot? wooden for a hearth? might the peevish-looking man—Master Peevish, she made up our minds to name him—would he come down and provides her a greater welcome? Startled by means of a surprising banging on the door and honestly a piece anxious, Meggy stood up fast, grabbed her jogging sticks, and made her manner into the farthest nook of the room. She moved in a kind of clumsy jig: achieve one stick forward, swing leg extensive and drag it ahead, circulate different stick forward, swing different leg huge and drag it ahead, over and over, stick, swing, drag, stick, swing, drag. Her legs didn't take a seat correct in her hips—she were born so—and hence she walked with this awkward swinging gait. Wabbling, Meggy referred to as it, and it did get her from one position to a different, albeit slowly and with now not a little of discomfort.

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