Thursday, October 27, 2011
by Jennifer Bradbury
Agnes Wilkins dreams of adventures that reach beyond the garden walls, but reality for a seventeen-year-old debutante in 1815 London does not allow for camels—or dust, even. No, Agnes can only see a mummy when she is wearing a new silk gown and standing on the verdant lawns of Lord Showalter’s estate, with chaperones fussing about and strolling sitar players straining to create an exotic “atmosphere” for the first party of the season. An unwrapping.
This is the start of it all, Agnes’s debut season, the pretty girl parade that offers only ever-shrinking options: home, husband, and high society. It’s also the start of something else, because the mummy Agnes unwraps isn’t just a mummy. It’s a host for a secret that could unravel a new destiny—unleashing mystery, an international intrigue, and possibly a curse in the bargain. (description from Amazon.com)
I LOVED this book. I had seen this book in our collection at the Library and thought, oh yeah...it looks okay, I kinda like the cover...then I received the audio book to review. I am SO glad that I "read" this book! Jennifer Bradbury did a fantastic job on this historical novel.
Now, the author's note reminds readers that she did take some liberties in the timeline - mummy unwrapping parties did NOT occur at the same time as the war with Napolean. The intriguing idea of having a coded spy message smuggled into the country through a mummy's wrapping was just too cool to pass up...and I agree! If you like The Secret History of the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, you will LOVE this book. It has a very similar spy theme.
Another reason that I really loved this series was Agnes herself. This is no average debutante. This is a girl who has taught herself 10 languages...10! She longs to actually go out and explore the world. Unfortunately, due to the rank she is born into, this is not in the cards for Agnes. She will be expected to marry well and produce heirs. She longs for adventure, though, and after finding a secret message in the mummy, she definitely gets it!
For a great spy adventure with romance, fun languages, historical facts, sprinklings of Jane Austen, and a girl who I want to be... you should definitely check out Wrapped! I'm only hoping that Jennifer Bradbury hopes to write a follow-up book (please, pretty, pretty please???).
Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for SLJ