Book Review: The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein
The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein
Before Verity . . . there was Julie.
When fifteen-year-old Julia Beaufort-Stuart wakes up in the hospital, she knows the lazy summer break she’d imagined won’t be exactly like she anticipated. And once she returns to her grandfather’s estate, a bit banged up but alive, she begins to realise that her injury might not have been an accident. One of her family’s employees is missing, and he disappeared on the very same day she landed in the hospital.
Desperate to figure out what happened, she befriends Euan McEwen, the Scots Traveller boy who found her when she was injured, and his standoffish sister Ellen. As Julie grows closer to this family, she experiences some of the prejudices they’ve grown used to firsthand, a stark contrast to her own upbringing, and finds herself exploring thrilling new experiences that have nothing to do with a missing-person investigation.
Her memory of that day returns to her in pieces, and when a body is discovered, her new friends are caught in the crosshairs of long-held biases about Travellers. Julie must get to the bottom of the mystery in order to keep them from being framed for the crime.
The Pearl Thief:
I received an earc of The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein from Bloomsbury Australia via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way influenced my thoughts and feelings about the book.
I was really looking forward to The Pearl Thief. I’ve been wanting to read Code Name Verity for some time. But when I heard there was going to be a prequel, I thought it was the best way to start. Sadly, I was disappointed. It wasn’t what I expected to be and with so much hype around this world and the author I was looking for something more. While it wasn’t what I was expecting, I also didn’t hate it and enjoyed aspects of the book.
The Pearl Thief follows fifteen-year-old Julia Beaufort-Stuart who after waking up in the hospital is trying to fill in the gaps. In the meantime, she meets some new people and they take her on a journey that changes her life and who is really she. With her memory coming back in pieces, will she be able to remember what happened to her before it’s too late?
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Julia as a protagonist. There were parts where I did enjoy her as a character. I loved when she was able to stand up for herself and others. She has this allure about her that I did enjoy, especially for a girl of her time. However other times I found her; bland. I am not how to put it, but I wasn’t interested in her story at times. She just wanted to kiss everyone. And while at times this isn’t bad, she doesn’t even remember what got her to the hospital.
The romance aspects of The Pearl Thief were enjoyable. Although Julia did kiss a fair few people throughout the short span of the book. There was one relationship that I really did enjoy. I don’t want to spoil it overly, but it was something different, especially for a historically based novel.
The notion of family was a big aspect of The Pearl Thief. Not as much as the interaction of family, but what it means and where you come from were. I really enjoyed Julia’s interaction between her brothers. I loved that they cared for one another, and would do a lot of each other. But, we also saw how money and family status influence what happens in the world and how you are treated.
The mystery elements of The Pearl Thief were totally there. I didn’t guess what was happening at all – which is fantastic. I didn’t know what was going to happen next. Or what was going to trigger Julia into remembering something about the incident. It was really good.
I also liked the plot of The Pearl Thief, however, I felt that parts were far to dragged on and I was totally bored. There were pages that I wanted to skip and find out some more or for something to happen. I did enjoy the incorporation of pearl finding – that was a nice touch.
Overall, The Pearl Thief was just an okay read. It explores the notion of a girl in her time and where she stands. It explores family and friendship and standing up for what you believe in. There was the mystery, romance and beautiful friendships. I hope that I will be able to read more of Wein’s books soon and hope that the hype stands true.
Have you read The Pearl Thief? What did you think of it? Are you planning on reading it? Have you read anything else by Elizabeth Wein? What did you think? Let’s Chat!