The Undrowned Child

Anchovies are caring and useful creatures. Well fish, really. And I often feel I could murder a piri-piri pea pie, so, yes please.

I’ve just read Michelle Lovric’s The Undrowned Child, and for anyone who might feel the need for something Harry Potterish after HP himself; look no further. And if you’re not, I still recommend reading this mermaid war drama set in Venice.

I don’t know Venice, personally, so don’t know if it’s really like this. Or was, as the story is set in 1899. 11-year-old Teodora visits Venice, and soon finds herself at the centre of a complicated revolution of sorts. She has various unusual, but useful, skills, such as reading upside down and seeing people’s speech in writing in the air. Teo meets a charming young Venetian gentleman, about her own age, called Renzo.

Soon all hell breaks lose in Venice, as an old traitor tries to return six hundred years after he died. Both sides in this war have the services of some unusual creatures, and the anchovies play a small part. And I’ll never be able to look at stone lions in the same light after this. Lots of dead ghosts (I suppose ghosts are usually dead-ish?) and gondolier children and mermaids. The mermaids run the show, and they talk much like I imagine fishwives to talk. But boy can they cook!

Great adventure story! And don’t be put off by the mermaids. Anything less mermaidish I’ve not come across. It’s not cute; it’s exciting and different.

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4 responses to “The Undrowned Child

  1. The Undrowned Child sounds fascinating, especially the anchovies – I always thought an anchovy was a vegetable!

  2. Well, in Sainsbury’s they have Worcestershire sauce on their list of vegetarian food, so I don’t know. On pizza I always feel the anchovies look a little, sort of, almost, fishy?

  3. Anchovies are indeed fish, the internet told me so. So sainsbury’s is mistaken and horribly wrong, or isn’t using anchovies.

    This book sounds awesome. now i just have to find it hidden amongst all the black and red covers plaguing the shelves at the moment.

  4. It’s a well known fact that vegetarians eat chicken, so what’s an anchovy or two between friends?

    Kick the piles, and see what comes up.

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