A Pattern of Secrets by Lindsay Littleson Ages 8-12 Cranachan Publishing

A Pattern of Secrets is an honest account of Victorian life which poses questions about inequality, compassion and morality.
Set in Paisley, Scotland in 1876, it tells the story of 12 year old Jim and his battle to save his family from a desperate future. We first meet the Muir family after Jim’s father, Frank, has lost his job as a weaver at the Rowat’s factory and the family are facing eviction from their flat. With nowhere else to go the family end up at the Poorhouse where Frank and Jim are swiftly separated from the rest of the family and put to work.
As Jim battles to rescue his family from the grim reality they face, he pins his hopes on finding a Paisley patterned shawl that he believes contains hidden money in its seams.
As we follow Jim’s story we are introduced to Jessie Rowat, a girl whose wealthy background is a stark contrast to Jim’s. The two characters go on to develop an unlikely bond, based on understanding, kindness and a shared experience of loss.
The harsh realities of Victorian life are vividly brought to life as we follow Jim’s struggles to save his family and, although the difference in Jim and Jessies’ background is huge, we discover that Jessie has had plenty of struggles of her own to face.
Although set over 140 years ago, A Pattern of Secrets focusses on themes that are still relevant today. Jim and Jessie, two characters from very different backgrounds, demonstrate the importance of understanding and empathy as they discover they have more in common than they thought and Jim’s determination shows a level of reilience and perseverance that sends a positive message to us all.
One of the things I loved about this book was the way in which historical facts, locations and characters are entertwined with fiction. This creates an utterly believable and relevant story with characters you empathise with and will to succeed.
Overall, A Pattern of Secrets is a fantastically gripping historical adventure that provides an excellent insight into Victorian life, while its themes of compassion, resilience and empathy make it a relevant and must read novel.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s