Finding Fortune by Pippa Goodhart

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Finding Fortune by Pippa Goodhart

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: Weak characters and dialogue but a good plot and a well-imagined setting in the Gold Rush make this one hit and miss. Worth checking out if you have an interest in the time period.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 280 Date: April 2013
Publisher: Catnip Publishing
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1846471599

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After Ida's mother's death, Grandmama makes plans to separate her from her father and send her to boarding school. When Fa decides to travel to the Klondike to seek gold, though, Ida can't bear to be away from him and steals away to join him. How will the pair survive, and can they find their fortune together?

I struggled to get into this one because the dialogue seems incredibly stilted - I'm assuming that Pippa Goodhart was going for historical accuracy, but it seems to be somewhat wide of the mark to me - I can't believe anyone ever talked in the way that Ida's Grandmama and Fa do for much of the early part of the book. Coupled with the ridiculous naivety shown by Fa - who I was starting to think was actively trying to break a record for the 'most often conned person in history', meaning it becomes increasingly hard to sympathise with him when he gets ripped off yet again - this stopped me from enjoying the first half too much.

Having said that, I'm not sure whether the dialogue improved in the second half or whether I just got attuned to it more, but I enjoyed the last part. It seems well-researched and Goodhart brings the setting of the Klondike to life far more successfully than she does her characters. I also thought the plot was good, and I really enjoyed the ending which was sweet and touching, and Ida's character development throughout the book is reasonably good even if the supporting characters leave a fair bit to be desired.

Probably not quite recommended generally on balance, but worth a look if you particularly enjoy historical fiction and I may well try more by Goodhart in the future.

Slave Girl by Jackie French is an excellent piece of historical fiction for younger readers. You might also enjoy Dragon Magic (Red Bananas) by Pippa Goodhart and Lesley Danson.

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Buy Finding Fortune by Pippa Goodhart at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Finding Fortune by Pippa Goodhart at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Finding Fortune by Pippa Goodhart at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Finding Fortune by Pippa Goodhart at


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