It seemed to me that nothing Hetty/Sapphire/Emerald ended up doing was right. I think she felt the same, which is why (let’s call her) Hetty went from one place to the next.
We left her last year feeling that her future would be safe if she could only find her ‘real’ father, while thinking it might be rather difficult to work out who he was. But it’s not as easy as all that. Blood might be thicker than water, but there is a lot more to parenthood or family ties than shared blood.
So, let’s sit down and consider what would suit Hetty. Because that’s what really matters. She’s so headstrong that she herself couldn’t see the truth for a long time. But when I got an inkling of where she needed to be, and why, it was terribly obvious. (My first reader was surprised and maybe a little disappointed by how things turned out.)
I am very happy for Hetty, and I think she ended up happy too. It’s been an interesting journey, from foster family to foundling hospital to seaside with one parent to another seaside with the other parent to original family to…
These have not been the standard kind of historical novels, because Jacqueline Wilson is anything but standard, but I suspect a new group of readers have discovered the past and what it was like. Hopefully they will want to explore some more.
(The cover by Nick Sharratt is my favourite in the trilogy.)