Unputdownable and absorbing | Daily News
Book Review

Unputdownable and absorbing

Title: The Beggar Maid

Author: Dilly Court

Dreams in life could be a driving force in life and when they are genuine. The Beggar Maid by the world famous author Dilly Court reminds us the validity of this assumption at the end of her novel in no uncertain terms. It has gone to the rare list of The Sunday Times top ten best seller list because of its writing style, plot development, themes, setting and above all superb characterization. The novel is veritably unputdownable and absorbing. The authoress could proudly boast of over eighteen successful novels under her belt.

The protagonist Charity had been a beggar girl on the London streets since she unceremoniously passed her eighth birthday. She plays the role of an orphan looking after her grandfather under trying conditions and caring and sharing the grief of her aged grandfather is thought provoking. The best part of the plot begins with the death of her grandfather and she is fueled by endurance and patience. In the wake of his demise, she meets a bookseller named Jethro Darkins. She becomes his helper and the housekeeper and he does not treat her well.

Everlasting value

Yet, her endurance and plight keep her glued to him as she does not have any alternative. Jethro leaves an everlasting value in her life and it is love for books. Her eagerness to come out of this ordeal gives her vigour. Every cloud has a silver lining and Charity becomes the owner of the book shop after her master’s death according to his will. In the meanwhile the writer creates another intricate plot situation to evict her from the property. The rent of the property is raised making the situation unbearable to Charity. She had to return to the street. Charity, her name-not to be bemused by the word meaning, meets a genuine gentleman, a doctor by profession, and her life changes. His meeting paves the path for an experience –filled life. Eventually she is destined to be the wife of a young man who inherits a treasure land in which Charity plays a very instrumental role to uplift the property to a money making endeavor.

Violet, another destitute girl in the family way plays the role of the accomplice in this events filled plot. Dorrie is another lively character who gives life to the plot that could keep the reader in in spirit. A lot of other characters are interestingly arrayed to tell her story to the readers everywhere. Suspense from chapter to chapter makes the fiction unputdownable.

Easier to grasp

A close perusal of the story convinces that Dilly Court has been influenced by Enid Blyton. So, those who have read Enid Blyton may find the plot line easier to grasp. The writer has very much used the language paying attention to the character dispositions. It reminds us the diction used by Charles Dickens to build the characters of Magwich and others from the lower strata of the society. Dickensian Style makes the reader glued to the plot line and the social order of the unprivileged lot of the society.

The story offers a great opportunity to the young reader to expand their vocabulary to a great extent. It is also a crevice to peep into both the lowest social order of the London society and the land owning privileged class. I do not have the slightest hesitation to recommend The Beggar Maid by Dilly Court to the enthusiastic readers of the thrilling genre of fiction because of the very fact that it is penned by a veteran fiction writer in the tapestry of modern novel.

Reviewed by Piyadasa Rillagoda


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