Little Bones

Janette Jenkins

Little Bones

It's 1899. London. A young girl is abandoned by her feckless family and finds lodging and work assisting a doctor. But Jane Stretch is no ordinary girl, and Mr Swift is no ordinary doctor... Jane does her best to keep up with the doctor, her twisted bones throbbing, as they hurry past the markets, stage doors and side shows to appointments in certain boarding houses across town. The young actresses who live there have problems, and Mr Swift does what is required, calmly and discreetly. Grateful to her benefactor and his wife, Jane assists him and asks no questions - the desperate young women not minding that it is a cripple girl who wipes their brows. 3.4 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
Little Bones

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Hardcover
Pages 288
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication January 2012
ISBN 978-0701181949
Publisher Chatto & Windus
 

It's 1899. London. A young girl is abandoned by her feckless family and finds lodging and work assisting a doctor. But Jane Stretch is no ordinary girl, and Mr Swift is no ordinary doctor... Jane does her best to keep up with the doctor, her twisted bones throbbing, as they hurry past the markets, stage doors and side shows to appointments in certain boarding houses across town. The young actresses who live there have problems, and Mr Swift does what is required, calmly and discreetly. Grateful to her benefactor and his wife, Jane assists him and asks no questions - the desperate young women not minding that it is a cripple girl who wipes their brows.

Reviews

The Daily Express

Matthew Dennison

Little Bones cleverly combines humour and pathos, the tragedy of Jane’s fate and the dark comedy of the situations in which she somehow finds herself. Jenkins writes with verve and colour, vividly bringing to life the dingy London streets along which Jane hobbles on her missions of “mercy”.

27/01/2012

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Times Literary Supplement

Judith Flanders

A smooth vivid prose that is less concerned with period style than it is with writing well.

10/02/2012

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The Financial Times

Suzi Feay

Although the writing itself is vivid with bright detail, there is a mismatch between the gaudy historical colouring and a plot that seems to require more realism. Eventually we come to feel deeply for Jane. The situation Jenkins leaves her in at the end of the novel is something else Dickens would not have countenanced.

16/01/2012

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The Sunday Times

Daisy Goodwin

There is ... the occasional bit of witty dialogue … But the book is unevenly paced, and the moment the plot begins to thicken, the narrative meanders off into memories of Jane’s early life.

05/02/2012

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The Daily Mail

Stephanie Cross

The plot - when it emerges - is slender. Meanwhile, the types and sights of late Victorian London are vividly, busily described and the cliches rapidly clock up, but more problematic is the curiously unreflective Jane herself.

06/01/2012

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