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A DROWNED MAIDEN’S HAIR: A MELODRAMA By: Laura Amy Schlitz May 13, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.

     A DROWNED MAIDEN’S HAIR: A MELODRAMA is a turn-of-the-century YA novel about an eleven year old orphan named Maud. Maud is not as pretty, or from as fine a home as some of the other  girls at the orphanage, so is pleasantly surprised when two sisters choose to adopt her after one of them hears her singing. Beautiful clothes and books are lavished on the girl, but upon being taken to her new home and meeting the third sister, she is dismayed to learn she will be a “secret child” and live in the attic.
     As Maud is “schooled” by the sisters, she comes to realize that the family business is that of fake psychics, and she was chosen, not because she is clever and has tried so hard to be obedient, but rather because she is petite and able to hide in small spaces. She is needed to help the sisters collect a five thousand dollar prize offered by a grieving mother to anyone who could produce a genuine manifestation of her child. Although Maud is thrilled to be out of the orphanage and have a home, she doesn’t feel right about fooling the kind and generous clients who so fiercely mourn their departed loved ones. 

      There are some interesting facts revealed in this book about the methods false psychics of old used to deceive their clients, and they are creatively woven into the story. While the ending is predictable, the novel is well written, entertaining, a fun read, and well worth ones’ time.  (Caution: Spoiler Alert!) But this reader is compelled to mention one thing that bothered her in the plot; why was Maud’s brother introduced into the story when he does not appear again and the children fail to reunite?

     The next review will be on a book in which the psychic probably wishes she were a fake.



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