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At the Sign of the Star

Review

At the Sign of the Star

Meg Moore is only eight years old when her mother dies in childbirth. Her bookseller tells Meg that she is now heir to all his books, copyrights, and other interests. With such a dowry, she knows that someday she will have her pick of suitors and that with the right husband she can continue in the book trade. She dreams of being friends with witty people and authors, as her father is. She obstinately refuses to attend school, preferring to learn the booksellers' trade in her father's shop. She does not care to learn women's ways. Strong-minded, with a lively wit and caustic tongue, Meg brings London in the 1600s alive for us, through her eyes. 

When her father remarries a woman named Susannah, it looks like Meg will lose her birthright and inheritance to Susannah and any child she might have. However, Meg does not want to live life as only a wife or servant, either. It seems though, that these might be the only options open to her unless she learns a trade. Meg consults Anthony Barker, an astrologer. Mr. Barker tells her that a great change is coming to her life. 

Thirteen-year-old Meg must learn to take charge of her own life in an era when woman do not have much control over their lives. Meg is determined that she will become a bookseller or at least have some other trade. She refuses to be at the mercy of a husband or be forced to live as a servant. 

Will an unsuspected talent be Meg's salvation, and will she find the maturity to face her unknown future? In AT THE SIGN OF THE STAR, Katherine Sturtevant has recreated the world of 17th Century Restoration London at a time when women were finally coming into their own on London's literary scene.

Reviewed by Audrey Marie Danielson on October 16, 2000

At the Sign of the Star
by Katherine Sturtevant

  • Publication Date: October 16, 2000
  • Hardcover: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
  • ISBN-10: 0374304491
  • ISBN-13: 9780374304492