Book Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley



Title: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Author: Alan Bradley

Genre: Mystery

Story: Precocious twelve year old Flavia de Luce of Buckshaw is the youngest of three girls in 1950. She is a self taught chemist and uses her multiple talents to solve the mysterious death of a stranger in the family cucumber patch. Harriet the Spy meets Sherlock Holmes series.

What Worked: The book was really well written, with some artful passages, well rounded characters, great visual imagery and metaphors. The book kept me interested from the very first sentence “It was as black in the closet as old blood.”

What Needed Work: I took Chemistry in High school and perhaps a course in college, but I had to go back and re-read passages regarding the chemistry components of the book. Chemistry is how Flavia solves her murders so understanding the vocabulary, outcomes and scientific backgrounds are pertinent. I wouldn’t say that the novel needs to work on this, but perhaps it was the one thing that I really had to focus on.

Overall: I admit, I often judge a book by it’s cover and something about this one drew me in. Maybe the dead “Edgar Allen Poe” like snipe, maybe the creamy green; I like it all. I’m also a sucker for stories that have strong girls/women, and if they’ve lost their mother as a child; hook, line, and sinker. I didn’t know that Flavia lost her mother as a baby before getting into the story, but I was enthralled once it was revealed. I saw a lot of myself in Flavia as a child, and could relate to all of her glorious orneriness. I wish I had discovered a read like this when I was younger, even though she is a fictional character, she is still inspirational. This book is #1 of a series, and I plan to read them all.

Rating: 5/5

If you wanna read: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Follow the Author: AlanBradleyAuthor

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We read to learn, to feel, to laugh, to understand others. We write to teach, express, communicate, to inspire others. I created Invisible Ink as an outlet of sorts, an area where I can organize the chaos; a place where hopefully I can be true to myself, and my readers. Writing is personal, it takes a brave and dedicated soul to formulate a piece and then share it with the world. That being said, I get just as much out of reading other's work as I do sharing mine ( I am always open to manuscript review swaps, just send me a message). Words read off a page evoke emotions. When taken out of context, or through an out of focus lens - anyone can mold the words, shifting their meaning to fit their agenda or distorted outlook. Staying true to form and myself, I won't censor my content, but I will censor my audience. Whatever lens you happen to be reading this through - I hope you enjoy!

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