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Petals in the Ashes

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This gripping account of London's Great Fire of 1666 is a worthy companion to At the Sign of the Sugared Plum. Only one year after the city suffered such terrible losses during the Plague, London is recovering and Hannah convinces her parents that, with her younger sister Anne's help, she can return to the city and manage the sweetmeats shop on her own. The girls are thril This gripping account of London's Great Fire of 1666 is a worthy companion to At the Sign of the Sugared Plum. Only one year after the city suffered such terrible losses during the Plague, London is recovering and Hannah convinces her parents that, with her younger sister Anne's help, she can return to the city and manage the sweetmeats shop on her own. The girls are thrilled to be back in London, and Hannah even finds her old beau, Tom, alive and well and working for a magician. But her newfound happiness is short-lived as fires begin to spring up around the city and quickly move closer to their shop. Finally, Hannah and Anne are forced to abandon their home to save their lives. When the fires have abated, the girls return to find their shop in ruins. They also find Tom, beaten and injured after being chased by a mob that blamed the magician for starting the fire. Despite their losses, Hannah is sure that one day she will rebuild her shop and once again trade under the sign of the sugared plum.


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This gripping account of London's Great Fire of 1666 is a worthy companion to At the Sign of the Sugared Plum. Only one year after the city suffered such terrible losses during the Plague, London is recovering and Hannah convinces her parents that, with her younger sister Anne's help, she can return to the city and manage the sweetmeats shop on her own. The girls are thril This gripping account of London's Great Fire of 1666 is a worthy companion to At the Sign of the Sugared Plum. Only one year after the city suffered such terrible losses during the Plague, London is recovering and Hannah convinces her parents that, with her younger sister Anne's help, she can return to the city and manage the sweetmeats shop on her own. The girls are thrilled to be back in London, and Hannah even finds her old beau, Tom, alive and well and working for a magician. But her newfound happiness is short-lived as fires begin to spring up around the city and quickly move closer to their shop. Finally, Hannah and Anne are forced to abandon their home to save their lives. When the fires have abated, the girls return to find their shop in ruins. They also find Tom, beaten and injured after being chased by a mob that blamed the magician for starting the fire. Despite their losses, Hannah is sure that one day she will rebuild her shop and once again trade under the sign of the sugared plum.

30 review for Petals in the Ashes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (not getting friends updates) Vegan

    This book starts right up where At the Sign of the Sugared Plum left off. In that first book, the London plague of 1665 is covered, seen through the eyes of our narrator Hannah, Sarah’s younger and more naïve sister. Here, in 1666, the Great Fire of London is covered, and this time Hannah, still the narrator, is the more worldly and older sister to her younger sister Anne. They’re still the proprietors of their sweetmeats shop. I loved this one almost as much, maybe as much as the first book, and This book starts right up where At the Sign of the Sugared Plum left off. In that first book, the London plague of 1665 is covered, seen through the eyes of our narrator Hannah, Sarah’s younger and more naïve sister. Here, in 1666, the Great Fire of London is covered, and this time Hannah, still the narrator, is the more worldly and older sister to her younger sister Anne. They’re still the proprietors of their sweetmeats shop. I loved this one almost as much, maybe as much as the first book, and I’m delighted that there is plenty of opportunity for at least one more sequel. For me the fire didn’t have quite the punch of the plague, but it didn’t start in this book until way into the story, and it lasted less than a week vs. the much lengthier course of the plague. So, did anything momentous happen in the London area in 1667? Doesn’t matter. There are at least two domestic storylines in which I’d be interested; I don’t need high drama. The characters are interesting enough without it. I love how the two sisters cared so for their cat Kitty. I love the (very chaste) romance. I love the family and sister relationships. I love how the author makes London of this time come alive. The sights, scents, way of life at the time are all shown so well. There is a wonderful author’s note at the end where she gives some details about the fire, and the plague too and, as with the first book that had recipes for the sisters’ confections, here there are recipes for body and home products: Rose water, Pot Pourri, Herbal hair rinses, Scented water to bathe in, Pomander balls. Great fun for me was reading (in the story) about Pomander balls, sticking cloves in oranges and then wrapping them with netting/lace and ribbons. My mother and I used to make these when I was a child, and I continued the tradition for a number of years. However, we used the cloves themselves to prick the oranges; here (according the the “recipe”) knitting needles are used to first make holes in the citrus fruit where the cloves will go, and the process is a bit more complicated, but easily doable. All these products can be made. Teens or families, including families with middle school aged kids, can enjoy making all of these. Book 3 please. I want more of Hannah and all the other characters too. This book works fine as a standalone book but I think it will be better appreciated if the first book is read first.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    Having survived the terrible Plague of 1665, escaping with her older sister Sarah from the horrors of London at the conclusion of At the Sign of the Sugared Plum , Hannah returns once again to the great metropolis in this second story devoted to her (mis)adventures. Accompanied this time by her younger sister Anne - Sarah having elected to stay behind at the family home in Chertsey - Hannah finds London mostly as it was before the terrible events of the previous year, with its bustling crowds Having survived the terrible Plague of 1665, escaping with her older sister Sarah from the horrors of London at the conclusion of At the Sign of the Sugared Plum , Hannah returns once again to the great metropolis in this second story devoted to her (mis)adventures. Accompanied this time by her younger sister Anne - Sarah having elected to stay behind at the family home in Chertsey - Hannah finds London mostly as it was before the terrible events of the previous year, with its bustling crowds and its gay pageantry once more to be seen. Some things have changed, however, from missing neighbors to buildings that still bear the dread mark of the plague, and as Hannah and Anne begin to set their sweetmeat shop, The Sugared Plum, to rights, Hannah searches for her friend Tom, an apothecary's apprentice who stayed behind in London, when she and Sarah escaped. Did he, as neighbors report, die during the last outbreak of the plague? If so, why does the magician's assistant, that she sees at the theater one day, look so much like him? Most of all, having finally found him again, can she escape a second calamity, when a terrible fire begins to move through the city...? I found Petals In the Ashes to be every bit as engrossing as its predecessor, and was immediately drawn into the story, which picks up right where At the Sign of the Sugared Plum left off, as Hannah and Sarah arrive in Dorchester, with infant Emma in tow. Although I had expected that the events of the Great Fire would take up more of the story than they did - the fire doesn't begin until roughly two thirds of the way through, after Hannah and Anne have been in London for some time - I wasn't disappointed in the book as a result, as it never failed to engage my interest. There were moments, reading along - notably, when the sisters encounter a man leading a chained bear, and a number of patients from the madhouse through The Bartholomew Fair, advertising their services as "entertainment" for the quality - that I was reminded of that famous L.P. Hartley quotation about the past being a "foreign country." But there were moments of recognition too, and experiences that felt familiar, from Hannah's first brush with romance, to Anne's sense of resentment, at her sister's behavior. The chapters involving the fire itself were by turns terrifying and heartbreaking - the thought of the king's wild menagerie, trapped in their cages, and unable to escape the heat and the smoke, as they died slow and painful deaths, made me feel sick to my stomach - and I simply raced along, wanting to know what happened next. All in all, this was another excellent work of historical fiction from Mary Hooper, and I recommend it to all fans of the genre. Now, if only the author would pen a third story involving Hannah! Perhaps something involving Tom, and another return (hopefully successful) to London...?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

    Sequel to At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, and just as good. I was disappointed that there wasn't much description of how they made their candied fruits and flowers, but the period detail about London during the Great Fire of 1666 was fascinating. I think there's a third book to the series, which I must now sniff out... Sequel to At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, and just as good. I was disappointed that there wasn't much description of how they made their candied fruits and flowers, but the period detail about London during the Great Fire of 1666 was fascinating. I think there's a third book to the series, which I must now sniff out...

  4. 5 out of 5

    carola

    This was a cute little read but nothing more! I liked the setting because I haven’t read books about the great fire of London before. But there was no character development, in my opinion, and the book was so short it felt like I rushed from one thing to another without any excitement built up. So, it was an alright (ish) book but I’m always very generous when it come to rating a book so that’s why it gets 3 star since I still enjoyed reading it!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Jackson

    A thoroughly enjoyable read. Not nearly as cleverly written as the first book but nonetheless a fantastic, historically accurate, researched book. Hannah’s story arc lacked depth for me, and I would’ve liked to see Hooper do more with Anne, but given Hannah is the protagonist, that was to be expected. The end of the book felt rushed, as though Hooper didn’t want to write anymore or tie up loose ends that both the plague and the great fire had left. I would like to read a third book, exploring li A thoroughly enjoyable read. Not nearly as cleverly written as the first book but nonetheless a fantastic, historically accurate, researched book. Hannah’s story arc lacked depth for me, and I would’ve liked to see Hooper do more with Anne, but given Hannah is the protagonist, that was to be expected. The end of the book felt rushed, as though Hooper didn’t want to write anymore or tie up loose ends that both the plague and the great fire had left. I would like to read a third book, exploring life in Chertsey more, but I doubt that’ll happen.... overall, would recommend!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Lockett

    Independent Sisters work to survive the Great Plague of London and then the Great Fire of London. It looks as if it is the second in a series .

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Teenaged Hannah and her older sister Sarah barely managed to escape London alive during the great plague of 1665. Now a year has passed, and the plague has finally died out. Hannah wants to return to London to reopen their sweets shop, but Sarah wishes to remain at the family home in the countryside. So when Hannah returns to the city, she is accompanied by her younger sister, Anne. However, her life is once again interrupted when fire begins to spread through London. Can Hannah find the strengt Teenaged Hannah and her older sister Sarah barely managed to escape London alive during the great plague of 1665. Now a year has passed, and the plague has finally died out. Hannah wants to return to London to reopen their sweets shop, but Sarah wishes to remain at the family home in the countryside. So when Hannah returns to the city, she is accompanied by her younger sister, Anne. However, her life is once again interrupted when fire begins to spread through London. Can Hannah find the strength to survive yet another terrible calamity? I highly recommend this book to all readers who enjoyed the first book about Hannah, "At the Sign of the Sugared Plum." I also recommend it to new readers who enjoy historical fiction and are interested in this time period. Hannah is a wonderful character, and her struggle for survival is riveting. I hope Mary Hooper writes another book about Hannah's adventures, as I would love to read it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    I liked this sequel to "At the Sign of the Sugared Plum," but found it more scattered than the original. It's a hard thing to match expectations of a great initial book when an author writes a sequel, of course, but I found that this was just "okay" as a novel. Mary Hooper still does amazing research (in this case, into the great fire that nearly destroyed London in the mid 1600s) but the novel either needed to be a little longer to fully tie up loose ends, or there needed to be another aspect t I liked this sequel to "At the Sign of the Sugared Plum," but found it more scattered than the original. It's a hard thing to match expectations of a great initial book when an author writes a sequel, of course, but I found that this was just "okay" as a novel. Mary Hooper still does amazing research (in this case, into the great fire that nearly destroyed London in the mid 1600s) but the novel either needed to be a little longer to fully tie up loose ends, or there needed to be another aspect to the story to really engage me as much as her first book in the series (I think maybe it's just a two-book series?). Anyway, it was still enjoyable.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    3 1/2 stars. This sequel to At the Sign of the Sugar Plum is another gripping read. Just a year after the Great Plague took hold of London, the Great Fire of London sweeps through the city and destroys it, once again disrupting the life of the heroine, Hannah. The historical details in these books are the most well done and intriguing aspects of the stories. This duo of YA books are quick, enticing historical fiction reads.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Art

    I enjoyed this book about life after the Black Death and then the fire of 1666 in England. Thought of Lois Lowry, AVI, and the princess series of YA books.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dorottya

    3.5 It was a fine enough ending to the duology, but I enjoyed this one a little bit less than the previous one. I am not sure if the writing was different in this one, or I just did not notice this in the previous novel, but I found the writing a bit rushed and lacking some "spice"... which I did not notice in the first one. Maybe I was expecting a bit more emotional and nuanced language because Hannah was so much more mature than previously because what she experienced in London (to fend for her 3.5 It was a fine enough ending to the duology, but I enjoyed this one a little bit less than the previous one. I am not sure if the writing was different in this one, or I just did not notice this in the previous novel, but I found the writing a bit rushed and lacking some "spice"... which I did not notice in the first one. Maybe I was expecting a bit more emotional and nuanced language because Hannah was so much more mature than previously because what she experienced in London (to fend for herself without parents for the first time and to live through the plague) - which was actually showing through in the plot (how she handled Anne like Sarah handled her a year ago). I also was expecting more from the love story plot. I liked it more in the previous novel... I mean, the love wasn't written in a nuanced way then, but it made sense, because it was just a crush, "love in the making"... but I wanted to get more feeling out of it, more time between the two, getting to know why they are attracted to each other... what we got was just they are still attracted to each other and they consider it love and that's it. That was flat for me, too little. I wanted something more detailed and something with more heart and more psyhological background. I enjoyed Hannah's personal development, though and the storyline about the great fire of London. It was also really entertaining and an easy read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Good book for early teens that have an interest in history. A good continuation of the first book but you have to read that one first otherwise this one will make no sense. Looking forward to reading it again.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Phoebe

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Enjoyable. I definitely enjoyed 'At the Sign of the Sugared Plum' more than this sequel but it was nice to see that Tom and Hannah find each other after the devastation that the plague wrought on them. Enjoyable. I definitely enjoyed 'At the Sign of the Sugared Plum' more than this sequel but it was nice to see that Tom and Hannah find each other after the devastation that the plague wrought on them.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    Set during the Great Fire of London 1666, the story of sisters who run a sweet shoppe and how the deal with the horrifying destruction.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Buxton

    B. fiction, YA , historical fiction, England, 17th c. Great London Fire

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. good book

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I read this immediately after The Sign Of The Sugared Plum because I couldn't wait to find out what happens with Hannah and Tom. This was still an enjoyable book but I was left feeling like Hannah could have ended up a little better off. When we meet Tom again in this book, he is the disappearing act for a crack magician. He reappears in each act in disguise. I'm thinking his station in life has not only plummeted but he appears dishonest and desperate. He also admits only to looking for Hannah I read this immediately after The Sign Of The Sugared Plum because I couldn't wait to find out what happens with Hannah and Tom. This was still an enjoyable book but I was left feeling like Hannah could have ended up a little better off. When we meet Tom again in this book, he is the disappearing act for a crack magician. He reappears in each act in disguise. I'm thinking his station in life has not only plummeted but he appears dishonest and desperate. He also admits only to looking for Hannah on one occasion while she's been pining over him constantly and going to all lengths to find him. I just cannot seem to like Tom & can't root for the 'lovers' getting together forever. So, this I think put a big downer on the whole thing for me, as the romantic element was ruined. During the big London fire Hannah's life is saved by a boy she was acquainted with before & who had quite a crush on her. He said that he'd made a bundle carting people and their belongings out of the city and had enough to start a real life with a nice woman (hint hint). I could just picture Hannah taking him up on it. They rebuild the Sugared Plum but far better than it was before. Have a peaceful and happy life. The end. (view spoiler)[But nooooo - instead we find Tom all beaten and half dead, lucky to still be alive - left behind by the crack magician. Alone. With nothing. Our heroin sweeps in and saves his bu--, whisking him off back home with her to nurse him back to health and hope that he finds work. NO! NO! NO! It is not supposed to work that way. Hannah is better than that. She got the bottom of the barrel. He didn't show much appreciation for her chasing him around and saving him either. (hide spoiler)] Other than that, it really was a good book. Hannah is very likeable, sweet and brave. Can you imagine finally getting past the whole plague scare only to return with hope of rebuilding and carrying on only to be BURNED OUT completely?! How much lower can a person go? It's like complete defeat. It would be nice to have a third book that ends up on a happy note. To see London being rebuilt and how folks managed after the fire. There was a little mention of what occurred in the aftermath, but to see it from Hannah's perspective would be even better. And, maybe she could end up in a more favorable position, too??? Despite my problems with the romance part of the book, it is a book very worth reading. I would love to see both this book and the Sugared Plum in middle schools everywhere. There is alot of good historical information, written in a way that makes it interesting and easy to follow. 4 enthusiatic stars!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shanna Gonzalez

    In this sequel to At the Sign of the Sugared Plum (http://www.eyelevelbooks.com/2009/05/...), Hannah and her sister Sarah escape from quarantined London to Dorchester, bearing the orphaned child of a noble family who have died of the Bubonic Plague. They deliver the child to her relatives and,after a sojourn at a local house of pestilence, remain at the estate until the Plague begins abate in London. Eventually the quarantine lifts, and after visiting their country home in Chertsey, Hannah retur In this sequel to At the Sign of the Sugared Plum (http://www.eyelevelbooks.com/2009/05/...), Hannah and her sister Sarah escape from quarantined London to Dorchester, bearing the orphaned child of a noble family who have died of the Bubonic Plague. They deliver the child to her relatives and,after a sojourn at a local house of pestilence, remain at the estate until the Plague begins abate in London. Eventually the quarantine lifts, and after visiting their country home in Chertsey, Hannah returns with her younger sister Anne to re-open their confectionary shop in London. The city is a different place after the ravages of the Plague, and white crosses are visible on many empty homes and businesses. Hannah visits the shop of her sweetheart and learns from neighbors that he contracted the Plague and was taken to a burial pit. She grieves, and then is mystified when a local conjurer's assistant bears a strikingly resemblance to him. She follows him to Bartholomew Fair to discover that he has not in fact died. The budding romance are interrupted when fire breaks out, completely devastating the city. The romantic story is a thin foil for the real action, which is the rebuilding of London and then the Great Fire. Hooper builds upon the excellent historical foundation she laid in the original book, giving a sense of the period's flavor by such scenes as the two sisters at confectionary-making and herb-gathering (recipes are included at the end of the book); the many sideshows at Bartholomew Fair (taken from historical accounts); and the detailed description of Hannah's journey through the burning city, with all the landmarks that succumb to the fire, is nothing short of breathtaking. As in the first book, excerpts from Pepys' diary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_P...) introduce each chapter. The character development is again rather shallow and the love story leaves much to be desired. Hannah continues to be self-absorbed and shallow. Her beau never declares his intentions, but he gives her a keepsake locket and there are several romantic scenes that end in kissing. This sentimental indulgence in the context of an undefined pseudo-courtship makes the book feel more like a modern teenage novel than a story from this time period. Parents will have to judge for themselves whether the love story outweighs the historical benefit of this book. For our purposes, we will probably read it once as a supplement to our history education, but it won't make it to our recreational reading shelf.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Hannah returns to her beloved London to re-open the sweetmeats shop with younger sister Anne. Londoners are reeling from the plague epidemic of the previous year, but Hannah and Anne are keen to start enjoying everything the bustling city has to offer. But this is 1666, and it has been prophesised that terrible things will happen, and on Pudding Lane, flames are raging through the bakery... England im Jahr 1666. Endlich ist die schreckliche Pestepedemie überstanden und Hannah kann mit ihrer Schwe Hannah returns to her beloved London to re-open the sweetmeats shop with younger sister Anne. Londoners are reeling from the plague epidemic of the previous year, but Hannah and Anne are keen to start enjoying everything the bustling city has to offer. But this is 1666, and it has been prophesised that terrible things will happen, and on Pudding Lane, flames are raging through the bakery... England im Jahr 1666. Endlich ist die schreckliche Pestepedemie überstanden und Hannah kann mit ihrer Schwester Anna nach London zurückkehren, in ihren kleinen Zuckermacherladen. Hannah ist heilfroh, wieder in der großen, aufregenden Stadt mit den Theatern und Geschäften und den vielen interessanten Menschen zu sein. Doch am wichtigsten ist ihr natürlich, Tom wiederzusehen. Aber Tom ist spurlos verschwunden – es heißt, er sei der Pest zum Opfer gefallen. Und in London kündigt sich bereits die nächste Katastrophe an … Das Cover:Das Cover ist im deutschen genauso wie das englische. Vorne ist die Seitenansicht eines Mädchens abgebildet, welche Hannah darstellen soll. Durch die Sepiafärbung wird alles auf etwas alt gemacht, was gut passt, da die Geschichte 1666 spielt. Ich finde das Cover nicht herausragend aber auch nicht schlecht. Meine Meinung: Der zweite Teil geht da weiter wo der erste aufgehört hat. Dadurch kommt man schnell wieder in die Geschichte rein, auch wenn es eine lange Weile her ist, dass man den ersten Teil gelesen hat. Es dauert jedoch eine ganze Weile, bis Hannah wieder in London ist uns so fiebert man schon etwas sehr, ob sie nun ihren Tom wieder findet oder jemand neues kennenlernt. Da ich für die Romane von Mary Hooper schwärme, bis jetzt habe ich allerdings erst 3 gelesen..., war ich wirklich glücklich endlich den zweiten Teil von "Die Schwester der Zuckermacherin" lesen zu können. Es ist ein gutes Buch zum zeitvertreib und wenn man gerne nicht allzu schnulzige Liebesgeschichten mag und auch gerne Bücher die in einer anderen Zeit spielen liest, dann ist dieses Buch genau das richtige für einen. Ebenso wenn man gerne ein Buch auf englisch lesen möchte, und mit einfacher Lektüre anfangen will, ist dieses Buch gold wert, denn es ist in einfach zu verstehendem englisch geschrieben. Jane Austen zum Beispiel ist da schon viel schwieriger im Vergleich hierzu! Allerdings muss ich sagen, mir hat der 1. Band viel besser gefallen. Zeitweilig war mir ein wenig langweilig beim lesen dieses Buches. Alles in allem verteile ich 3 von 5 Sternen für dieses Buch :)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nightshade

    This book began where the previous one left off, with Hannah and Sarah’s arrival in the country where they are sent to a pestilence house, along with the baby Grace, to ensure they do not have the plague. This gives an insight to the way people in pest houses were treated and why often it was a death sentence to be sent there. Hannah then returns to London with her sister, Anne, to restart their business. Upon arriving in London Hannah discovers that her sweetheart, Tom, died of the plague. This This book began where the previous one left off, with Hannah and Sarah’s arrival in the country where they are sent to a pestilence house, along with the baby Grace, to ensure they do not have the plague. This gives an insight to the way people in pest houses were treated and why often it was a death sentence to be sent there. Hannah then returns to London with her sister, Anne, to restart their business. Upon arriving in London Hannah discovers that her sweetheart, Tom, died of the plague. This aroused my suspicion, as I thought that had Tom really died more would have been made of it. And sure enough soon Hannah attends a show at the theater in which she sees a young man that resembles Tom. This already made this book better than the first as it set up an intriguing plot, to which I wanted to know the answer. Hannah sets about tracking Tom down and finally discovers him working for a fake magician in a travelling Fair. However amongst the joy of their reunion is the beginning of the Great Fire of London. This holds no suspense in the fact that you know that everything will be burned down as occurred in real life. The drama in this part of the story however is in Hannah and Anne’s escape from the raging fire and the fact that Hannah very nearly becomes trapped. Mary Hooper has once again done an excellent job in recreating London in 1666, giving the reader a sample of what life must have been like living at that time and the terror of the seemingly unstoppable flames. It was interesting to learn how people buried their belongings in the hope of saving them, including food items. Also many people believing the fire to be an act of God hid their belongings and themselves in the churches, until they too were seen to be burning. This book succeeded in keeping my interest where its prequel failed, with greater moments of suspense and unsurety as to how the plot would play out. For this reason, and the impressive recreation on 1666 London life, it receives 4 stars.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kymberly

    After London has recovered from the plague, Hannah is eager to go back and reopen the sweetmeats shop along with seeing her sweetheart again. As she goes back with her younger sister Anna, in the year 1666, she does not know what is to come as London faces a disaster worse then the plague. I would recommend this book for middle school and high school students because the vocabulary isn't very hard to understand for middle school students and that is when they've learned about the 17th century al After London has recovered from the plague, Hannah is eager to go back and reopen the sweetmeats shop along with seeing her sweetheart again. As she goes back with her younger sister Anna, in the year 1666, she does not know what is to come as London faces a disaster worse then the plague. I would recommend this book for middle school and high school students because the vocabulary isn't very hard to understand for middle school students and that is when they've learned about the 17th century along with the plague that took place in Europe. This book is valuable from an educational point because it teaches you about the disasters in London such as the plague and the great fire along with what it was like to live in that time and be a survivor to both disasters. I think the author was trying to show that when something reaches it's low point, don't loose hope because something better will happen in the end and the bad will be over. In the book, Hannah and her older sister, Sarah, think that they are going to die but they were able to leave the city safely and survive the plague. Further on in the book, Hannah and her younger sister get caught in another disaster, the great fire, and although their shop burned down, they survived and came home safely with her sweetheart, Tom. In this book, I enjoyed how the main character, Hannah, stayed with her sisters and always had hope when something went wrong. It also shows a lot in the book that she has grown a lot to become responsible just like her older sister. I didn't like when Hannah came back to London with her younger sister to find out that her sweetheart, Tom, was actually dead. In the days after she found out he was dead, she was very depressed and cold hearted with her younger sister, Anna, until she put some sense into her. This is a great historical fiction book that talks about what happened in London during this time period, the book ends very dramatically in a heart touching way.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    In London in the year 1666, two sisters named Hannah and Anne, where back in London after hearing that the plague was gone and they were ready to re-open their sweetmeat shop.Few weeks after, something worse than plague hit London now known as The Great Fire of London. This book is best suitable for students grades 9-12 because the book has some difficult language that younger grade levels will not understand. I believe this book is valuable from an educational standpoint because the story goes In London in the year 1666, two sisters named Hannah and Anne, where back in London after hearing that the plague was gone and they were ready to re-open their sweetmeat shop.Few weeks after, something worse than plague hit London now known as The Great Fire of London. This book is best suitable for students grades 9-12 because the book has some difficult language that younger grade levels will not understand. I believe this book is valuable from an educational standpoint because the story goes to the extent of very vivid details of the disasters in London like plague and The Great Fire. The author was trying to show that Hannah never lost hope even though things were becomes very difficult for her and we need to be like her. The theme of this book is that two sister formally, Hannah and Sarah, fled London because of the plague, when returning, now with her younger sister Anne,Hannah is responsible for the shop and her sister through the hardships that came of the Great Fire.The point of the story was that the plague and fire in London really put the people at the time through very hard times and made them poor and homeless because of the vivid images Hooper wrote made me feel and see what the characters saw and felt. I really enjoyed Hannah overall because Hannah did a great job in not losing hope and being brave for Anne even though things were falling apart. Hannah really showed Sarah that she could handle things on her own. I disliked how Sarah stayed in Chertsey for Giles Copperly and left Hannah on her own with Anne and the shop. I also disliked the ending of the because it really shouldn't end with them just leaving the shop in ruins and maybe one day rebuild it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The personal story is not as compelling as the first book but there are some features here that are worth mentioning: - Each chapter starts with a Pepys quote. - Although coming over as contrived in some instances, the author has done her best to incorporate snatches of the theatre life, royal circle, gossip and fashion to give readers quite a broad overview of the times. - some really lovely stuff at the back - how to make pomander balls, rose water and herbal hair rinses etc. I think I would real The personal story is not as compelling as the first book but there are some features here that are worth mentioning: - Each chapter starts with a Pepys quote. - Although coming over as contrived in some instances, the author has done her best to incorporate snatches of the theatre life, royal circle, gossip and fashion to give readers quite a broad overview of the times. - some really lovely stuff at the back - how to make pomander balls, rose water and herbal hair rinses etc. I think I would really have loved both of these books as a young girl and so in remembrance to that young girl that was, I give it 4* instead of 3. --- Barbara Palmer nee Villiers, Lady Castlemaine by Sir Peter Lely. Catherine of Braganza. Portrait by Benedetto Gennari

  24. 4 out of 5

    Luna

    Petals in the Ashes continues Hannah’s story immediately after At the Sign of the Sugared Plum ended. I was only going to read the first few pages and go to bed but it was gone midnight before that happened. I had to finish the story. Petals in the Ashes loses nothing of what was wonderful in the first book. Hannah and her sister return home but unlike her older sister Hannah misses London. As the plague continues to subside Hannah manages to convince her parents to let her return, taking her youn Petals in the Ashes continues Hannah’s story immediately after At the Sign of the Sugared Plum ended. I was only going to read the first few pages and go to bed but it was gone midnight before that happened. I had to finish the story. Petals in the Ashes loses nothing of what was wonderful in the first book. Hannah and her sister return home but unlike her older sister Hannah misses London. As the plague continues to subside Hannah manages to convince her parents to let her return, taking her younger sister Anne with her. Hannah’s character grows a lot from the first book, now she is the responsible older sibling. Thankfully she doesn’t lose any of her charm because of this. Both girls, particularly Hannah endure a lot of trails in this book and I would say that Petals in the Ashes has a more dramatic ending then the first story. You don’t have to read At the Sign of the Sugared Plum to appreciate this book but I think you’d love it even more if you did. As always there are little historical notes and treats at the end of the story.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brett

    Truly excellent historical fiction, just like Hooper's first book about Hannah, "At the Sign of the Sugared Plum." The story is engrossing, the characters are easy to relate to & like, & the fascinating & detailed historical setting keeps the pages turning. Hannah & older sister Sarah have managed to make it out of Plague-ridden London, winding up in Dorchester with the aunt of their orphaned charge. As soon as word reaches them that London is once again safe following the change of season & sub Truly excellent historical fiction, just like Hooper's first book about Hannah, "At the Sign of the Sugared Plum." The story is engrossing, the characters are easy to relate to & like, & the fascinating & detailed historical setting keeps the pages turning. Hannah & older sister Sarah have managed to make it out of Plague-ridden London, winding up in Dorchester with the aunt of their orphaned charge. As soon as word reaches them that London is once again safe following the change of season & subsequent break in heat, the decide to stop by their parents' home & then continue on to London to re-open their sweet shop. Upon reaching home, however, Sarah meets someone & decides to stay a while, so Hannah goes to the store with younger sister Anne in tow. They're there long enough to get things going & then tragedy strikes again - this time in the form of the famous & completely devastating Fire of London. Will Hannah survive a second such calamity, & will she ever see her sweetheart again?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sleepover137

    So this was the sequel to "Die Schwester der Zuckermacherin" and it picked up riiiight where the other book left of. Without any major time jumps or anything, wich I loved. I was able to just read on with what I felt the first book just left open (obviously because duology and stuff ^^). This one was far less frustrating when it comes to the main characters decisions and actions. Exept for one scene, where I just couldn't understand why things where happening the way they were, I thoroughly enjo So this was the sequel to "Die Schwester der Zuckermacherin" and it picked up riiiight where the other book left of. Without any major time jumps or anything, wich I loved. I was able to just read on with what I felt the first book just left open (obviously because duology and stuff ^^). This one was far less frustrating when it comes to the main characters decisions and actions. Exept for one scene, where I just couldn't understand why things where happening the way they were, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The end was a bit loose but not enough to taunt you or call for a another book. I also liked that because you could easily imagine the future that was about to unfold for the characters whithout the need for an epilogue.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Miss Amanda

    gr 6-10 184pgs 1666, London, England. Sisters Hannah and Sarah have survived the plague and now that the plague has left London, Hannah and her younger sister Anne must return to reopen the sweet shop and find out if their friends have also survived. Just as business starts to return to normal, a fire starts and quickly burns out of control.... I felt like the first half of the book which deals with the aftermath of the plague should have been part of the first book, "At the Sign of the Sugared Pl gr 6-10 184pgs 1666, London, England. Sisters Hannah and Sarah have survived the plague and now that the plague has left London, Hannah and her younger sister Anne must return to reopen the sweet shop and find out if their friends have also survived. Just as business starts to return to normal, a fire starts and quickly burns out of control.... I felt like the first half of the book which deals with the aftermath of the plague should have been part of the first book, "At the Sign of the Sugared Plum". I would've liked it better if this book focused on the events leading up to and after the fire.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    Petals in the Ashes had been on my 'to read' list since 2009. Just recently I found the first book in the series, Sign of the Sugared Plum, which is about the plague, and read and enjoyed it. Petals in the Ashes, however, is inferior to its predecessor. The author spends the first 130 pages of this book about the London fire of 1666 tying up the first story, and only the last quarter of the novel is about the fire. Needless to write, this was the best part of a book filled with minutiae. Petals in the Ashes had been on my 'to read' list since 2009. Just recently I found the first book in the series, Sign of the Sugared Plum, which is about the plague, and read and enjoyed it. Petals in the Ashes, however, is inferior to its predecessor. The author spends the first 130 pages of this book about the London fire of 1666 tying up the first story, and only the last quarter of the novel is about the fire. Needless to write, this was the best part of a book filled with minutiae.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Lovely little book about London at the time of the great fire. Following on where "At the sign of the sugared plum" leaves off this sees Hannah and her sister Sarah having escaped London in the grip of bubonic plague thrown into a pest house until its sure they haven't brought the plague to Dorchester, Finally returning to re-open their sweetmeats shop in London Hannah and her younger sister Anne face new horrors when a massive fire ravages London. I just wish it was longer. Lovely little book about London at the time of the great fire. Following on where "At the sign of the sugared plum" leaves off this sees Hannah and her sister Sarah having escaped London in the grip of bubonic plague thrown into a pest house until its sure they haven't brought the plague to Dorchester, Finally returning to re-open their sweetmeats shop in London Hannah and her younger sister Anne face new horrors when a massive fire ravages London. I just wish it was longer.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    This book gripped me right from the first page. I had high expectations from reading 'At the Sign of the Sugared Plum' but this book exceeded my expectations.It was a very good ending. It really shows the detail to anything that is mentioned. You should definitely read 'At the sign of the sugared plum' before this as the story continues from the first book. Overall was an amazing story. My favourite book by far. This book gripped me right from the first page. I had high expectations from reading 'At the Sign of the Sugared Plum' but this book exceeded my expectations.It was a very good ending. It really shows the detail to anything that is mentioned. You should definitely read 'At the sign of the sugared plum' before this as the story continues from the first book. Overall was an amazing story. My favourite book by far.

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