Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

Schlitz, Laura Amy.
Cambridge : Candlewick Press, 2006
IL 5-8, RL 5.8
ISBN 0763629308
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
A Drowned Maidenís Hair: A Melodrama has a great opening:
"On the morning of the best day of her life, Maud Flynn was locked in the outhouse, singing 'The Battle Hymn of the Republicí. She was locked in because she was being punished. The Barbary Asylum for Female Orphans was overcrowded; every room in the wide brick building was in use. There were few places where one could imprison a child who had misbehaved. The outhouse was one such place, and very suitable for the purpose, because the children hated it."

Set in the early 1900ís, troublemaker Maud Flynn gets to leave the orphanage this very same day when adopted by the Hawthorne sisters, who despite coming to adopt a child of eight, choose Maud for her small stature and nice singing voice.  These three older ladies live together in a wealthy home.  They treat Maud to good food, new clothes, and the use of indoor plumbing to win her over. Maud takes to sister Hyacinth and longs for her approval and love, doing whatever she asks for bits of praise. It isn't long before the sisters have thrust Maud into the family business of betraying customers with fake séances. The story follows Maud as the sisters use her in a scam against a wealthy woman whose daughter drowned the previous summer. This ghost story is wonderfully intriguing and readers will be rooting for Maud to find happiness.  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2007-2008)

SUBJECTS:     Orphanages History -- Fiction.
                        Adoption -- Fiction.
                        Parapsychology -- History -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.

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