The Daring Escape of Beatrice and Peabody
The Daring Escape of Beatrice and Peabody by Kimberly Newton Fusco is a debut of enormous charm, about a lonely orphan named Bee who escapes a travelling carnival in the company of a small, equally lonely dog.
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Bee is an orphan who lives with a travelling carnival. Every day she endures taunts for the birthmark on her cheek – though her beloved Pauline, the only person who has ever cared for her, tells her it is a precious diamond. When Pauline is sent to work for another carnival, Bee is lost.
Then a scruffy dog shows up, as unwanted as she, and Bee realizes that she must find a home for them both. She runs away to a house with gingerbread trim where two mysterious women, Mrs Swift and Mrs Potter, take her in. They clothe her, though their clothes are strangely out of date. They feed her, though there is nothing in their house to eat. They help her go to school, though they won’t enter the building themselves. And only Bee seems able to see them . . .
Whoever these women are, they matter. They matter to Bee. And they are helping Bee realize that she, too, matters to the world – if only she will let herself be a part of it.
With an arrestingly original voice, this book stays with you long after reading. Anyone who has ever felt lonely will find a friend in Bee.
The Daring Escape Of Beatrice And Peabody by Kimberly Newton Fusco (Faber, £6.99), tells the story of Beatrice, an orphan, who works the hot dog stand at a travelling fair and tries to stay unnoticed. With a birthmark covering almost half of her face, it's not always easy to escape unwanted attention, however.
With just a scruffy little dog for a friend, there comes a time when Beatrice has to leave the fair, and find a real home for them both. A lovely story with a touch of magic.
Kimberly Newton Fusco's The Daring Escape of Beatrice and Peabody whisks you away to a hot dog stall and travelling fair in America during the war.
There is a supernatural element here too, and an awkward attempt to jam local historical figures into a story that is engrossing enough in itself. But this third novel by Newton Fusco is a real keeper.
The reader is completely won over
There is a definite fairy tale quality to this story, and Bee is a heroine to love and to admire
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