Books Reviews

The Double Life of Cora Parry Book Review

By Angela Youngman Jan 24, 2011, 20:46 GMT

The Double Life of Cora Parry  Book Review

Abandoned to the workhouse after the death of her guardians, Cora Parry refuses to accept her fate. Under the tuition of persuasive streetrat Fletch, Cora finds herself reluctantly drawn deep into the Victorian underworld. As she is gradually seduced into a life of crime, Cora creates a persona for herself - Carrie - allowing her to separate her uneasy conscience from her actions. But soon things are spiralling out of ...more

Left at the gates of the workshouse after her guardians die, Cora Parry is determined to survive in her own way.  With few resources beyond her own wit, Cora finds herself caught up in London's underworld. 

Under the tuition of street-rat Fletch, Cora is caught up in a life of crime.  In order to cope, Cora creates another persona - Carrie; and it is Carrie who undertakes the various burglaries. But soon, the situation is spiraling out of control.  Carrie commits crimes that Cora is convinced she did not do. 

What is the relationship between them?  Where does one person end and another start? Who is Carrie? This book undoubtedly brings alive the Victorian underworld in a way which is easily understandable to modern children.  The descriptions and choices that have to be made are extremely vividly drawn.  It is also a tale of split personalities - can Cora survive? 

Linked to her story is the tale of Joe and his father who work in a pawnshop, who become her friends. The ending is unexpected, and neatly ties all the various elements of the story together.  Well written, and definitely thought provoking; children who enjoy history will certainly appreciate this book.

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