In 1614, Lizzy lives in Holland with other refugees from Scrooby, England. About 150 people fled from their homes and their country with William Brewster in 1608 to escape religious persecution by King James. They separated from the Church of England, so they are called Separatists.
In Holland, because the language is different and the Dutch people have different ways of looking at things, life is hard for the refugees. Also, English spies are searching for them to take them back to England. They could go to jail for leaving England without the king's permission. They could be killed for refusing to attend the Church of England.
Lizzy parents died so she lives with William Brewster's family in a small house in Stink Alley. Mr. Brewster thinks that Lizzy is undisciplined, and he is displeased with her. He blames her for corrupting the minds of his children with prideful thoughts. Lizzy believes that Mr. Brewster knows best about everything, but it's very hard to please him. But her friend Will thinks that Mr. Brewster has led them into a terrible life and now is trying to force them to stay in it. Will is even making plans to run away.
Lizzy is determined to pay her own way with the Brewsters, so she looks for work as a cook. She finds work at a wealthy Dutch home where a strange boy, who is always drawing pictures, tricks her into riding on a windmill. Things always seem to be getting into the way of Lizzy's plans, and Mr. Brewster becomes even more unhappy with her. Then Will entrusts a secret to Lizzy that can get them both into terrible trouble.
This book tells a part of America's history that's interesting to know. The Separatists really did sail from England to Holland. And their children really did work in dreadful jobs which made them old before their time. After living in Holland for many years, William Brewster eventually took a little band of Separatists to America aboard a ship called the Mayflower. Lizzy is a fictional character, but the strange little boy who became friends with her is not. Can you guess who he is?
Reviewed by Tamara Penny on May 1, 2002
- Publication Date: May 1, 2002
- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins
- ISBN-10: 0688178642
- ISBN-13: 9780688178642