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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Newes from the Dead by Mary Hooper

Title: Newes from the Dead
Author: Mary Hooper
ISBN: 9781596433557
Publisher: Roaring Brook Books

"Anne Green can't move a muscle, can't open her eyes, can't scream. She lies paralyzed in absolute darkness, terrified by her final memory - being hanged. Is she in purgatory? Hell? Was she buried alive? An innocent woman caught up in a nightmare, Anne Green is trapped with her racing thoughts, her burning need to revisit the events - and the man - that led her to the scaffold.

Meanwhile, a shy young medical student attends his first dissection and notices something strange as the doctors prepare their tools... Did her eyelids just flutter? Could this corpse be alive?

Haunting, thrilling, and impossible to put down, Newes from the Dead is based on the true story of the real Anne Green, a servant who survived a hanging in 1650 England only to awaken on the dissection table. Newes from the Dead concludes with an excerpt from an original 1651 document that recounts this chilling medical phenomenon."

This story is truly creepy - at least the idea of it is. Of course, it's worse because it's a true story! Can you imagine being hanged for a crime you didn't commit in the first place - only to wake up later and realize you didn't die after all?!? Just the idea of it gives me chills.

Well, this is historical fiction - which is not my typical genre. But the story is so captivating, that you really can't put it down. It is told from two perspectives: Anne, herself and one of the attending medical students. I was a little worried that there wouldn't be much dialog - I mean, it's told from a girl's perspective who can't talk, can't see, can't move, etc. That's a recipe for a boring book - but Hooper managed it perfectly. Also, the other commentary from the student seemed like it might be mostly internal too - because he had a stammer and couldn't speak easily - but there's tons of action and dialog and intrigue.

I'd recommend this to anyone looking for historical fiction - especially if you need it for a class or something. It's an easy read and the story is very interesting.

Other Blog Reviews:
About Books
The Ya Ya Yas
Write Away
And an Author Interview

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