The only beautiful thing in Ivy's drab life is her glorious red hair.
At a young age, her locks made her the target of Carroty Kate, a 'skinner'. She recruited Ivy to help her coax wealthy children away from their nannies so that she could strip them of their clothes - clothes worth a fortune in the markets of Petticoat Lane. It is years before Ivy escapes and finds her way back to her in-laws.
Once there, she finds respite in laudanum. But before she can settle into a stupor and forget the terrible things she has done, Ivy is spotted by a wealthy pre-Raphaelite painter. Oscar Fosdick needs a muse (until now he has had to use his domineering mother as a model, something not conducive to producing his best work, he finds). To him, Ivy is perfect, a stunner. Realising quickly that this painter has more money than sense, Ivy's in-laws order her to sit for him, and to do anything else he demands.
But not everyone is happy. Oscar's mother is determined to get rid of Ivy. Oscar's famous neighbour is determined to paint her.
Carroty Kate is determined to find her, and Ivy herself is determined to escape ...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- Publication Date: 04/05/2006
- Category: Historical
- ISBN: 9780192754318
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by wyvernfriend
Into a life of poverty and orphanage Ivy was born and this is a story of her adventures until, and after, she became an Artist's model for some pre-raphelite painters.Interesting, particularly when it came to her perception of things going on around her.
Review by booksandwine
Sometimes a girl just needs a really good work of historical fiction to ease her hectic life. Ivy by Julie Hearn was exactly what the doctor prescribed. First, there is the gorgeous cover, which actually kind of threw me. I went into the book expecting some sort of romance, just because there was a woman on the cover. Silly me. What I got in return was something much better.A quick summary before I begin to cover this book in laurels, Ivy is basically about a girl named Ivy who has been shafted by life. She was an orphan, then she went to live with some evil relatives, becomes a street criminal, picks up an addiction, and later becomes an artists model. Oh and did I mention it is set in Industrial-Era England. Oh fuck yes.I am a glutton for characters. The characters in this book are quite intriguing, there is Carroty Kate, who is sort of like Fagin in Oliver Twist, and by Oliver Twist, I actually mean the Disney film Oliver And Company. Ivy is interesting too, she's not at all what I thought she would have been. Not one bit.When it comes to prose, yes I can put up with crappy writing if it means action (I did actually like Twilight at first, after all). Hearn's writing, however, is not crappy. Actually I was quite engaged by her prose. I definitely used time I should have spent planning lessons reading this book instead. Yes, yes priorities, what are they? Despite the lack of a heartthrob (heartthrobs make me tear up when they do adorable things), I still got all weepy at the end, because I truly am a glass case of emotion.What, pray tell, did I learn from this book? Well, laudanum is a drug that makes you tired. Life as an Orphan in Industrial Era England sucks, you will fall into a crowd of seedy people, because damn it that is how it works in books. Books that are somewhat reminiscent of Charles Dickens minus hundred year old wedding cakes and singing orphans make me feel full of joy.
Review by CaroTheLibrarian
PLUS - * An interesting though not perfect historical novel set in Victorian London. Split into two parts we follow Ivy as a child, when she finds herself taken up by a band of thieves, and then later as an older girl when she becomes a model for an aspiring Pre-Raphaelite painter. * I enjoyed the descriptions of Victorian London, and the book was more humourous than I expected. Watch out for the episode where the lady do-gooders venture into the slums on the look out for children to help, and the painter oblivious to the discomfort of his models. MINUS - * I didn't find Ivy a particularly likeable character, and as a result didn't feel all that bothered about what happened to her. * Several of the characters (Ivy's family, the painter and his mother) felt a little like charicatures which made me feel as if the historical aspects of the book didn't quite ring true. OVERALL - * I wanted to enjoy this, as I had liked Rowan the Strange but it just didn't quite do it for me.