Wishing for Tomorrow by Hilary McKay

I just finished listening to Wishing for Tomorrow by Hilary McKay, narrated by Justine Eyre.  This is an audio book I received through the Amazon Vine program. I didn’t know it was an audio book when I requested it, but I am glad I gave it a shot.

My full review will appear on Amazon, but I wanted to highly recommend it to my readers here. This is a sequel to A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. McKay was captivated by this story of a group of young girls at Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies when she was a girl and used that book as a basis for her story.

A Little Princess centers around a young girl named Sara Crewe, who is living a life of privilege, until her father, Captain Crewe, dies penniless in India. Sara now works for the mean Miss Minchin as a scullery maid and is forced to live up in the attic, but she says she can still be a princess inside. Then one day, a mysterious man from next door changes Sara’s world forever.

Wishing for Tomorrow is the story of the girls left behind at Miss Minchin’s after Sara leaves with the mysterious man from next door. Ermengarde struggles now that her best friend, Sara, is gone. Lavinia is leader of the girls again and dreams of a more interesting life. Lottie gets into all kinds of mischief.  And the new maid, Alice, is a welcome addition to Miss Minchin’s, even if her standards aren’t quite up to what Sara’s used to be.

I have not read A Little Princess, so I don’t know how closely McKay followed Burnett’s original creation when she wrote about Ermengarde, Lavinia, Lottie, Jessica, and Gertrude, but this is a moving story. One that I will certainly listen to again.

As I might have mentioned before, I am currently at work on a middle grade novel about Amelia, a young orphan girl who is sent to live with her miserable spinister aunt. I requested Wishing for Tomorrow because Amelia will be spending part of her time at Wheaton Female Seminary (now Wheaton College), and I wanted to get a feel for some of the things Amelia might have experienced. Having never gone away to college or off to boarding school, I needed to find a way to make Amelia’s experiences real for the reader.

While I reviewed the audio version of this book, Wishing for Tomorrow is also available as a hardcover.



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Audio Books–Do You Listen to Them?

 Children’s Book Week has meant all sorts of new adventures for me. In addition to going to see a production based upon Judy Blume’s classic Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, I am reading a book in a format I usually avoid–audio.

I have a confession to make first. I didn’t know this was an audio book when I requested it from the Amazon Vine program. This program allows you to request a certain number of items each month and post a review on Amazon. I don’t participate much in the program because I have so many other books to read for my blogs, but when I find something of interest I’ll send in a request.

I am currently working on a middle grade historical, part of which will be set at Wheaton College in Norton, MA–which during the time of my story was Wheaton Female Seminary. I wanted to get a feel for life at an all girl seminary and thought Wishing for Tomorrow by Hilary McKay would be perfect. When I discovered it was an audio book, I have to admit I was disappointed. I’m not the kind of person who can listen to music while she works, let alone try to pay enough attention to a story at the same time I’m working.

I have found, however, that these compact discs are perfect to listen to in my truck while on the way to the grocery store or when I have a bunch of errands to run. I’m truly enjoying the story. The characters are all so different, and narrator Justine Eyre does a wonderful job of breathing life into these characters and capturing their essence.

Do you listen to audio books? If yes, how often? What do you like about them? Is there anything you don’t like about audio books?



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