The History of Mischief
Publisher: Fremantle Press
The History of Mischief is a fascinating ‘book within a book’ embodying the adage that truth is often indeed stranger than fiction. The stunning, intricately detailed cover hints at the many secrets within as it invites the reader to embark on an ambitious journey interweaving more than 2000 years of history with a family story illuminating the far-reaching effects of grief, the destructive power of long-held secrets, and the redemptive power of love.
The book opens with recently orphaned sisters – the feisty, determined and curious 9-year-old Jessie and her older, more pragmatic sister Kay (who must reluctantly assume the role of parent) – as they discover an unusual book titled The History of Mischief which documents the life and times of each successive ‘A. Mischief’ and reveals far more than the sisters expect. From ancient Athens in the time of Diogenes to exiled Ethiopian princesses, grumpy lighthouse keepers or dragons trapped in Polish salt mines, the tales in the book lead young Jessie into a world of research as she tries to unravel the mysteries, satisfy her thirst for answers and come to terms with the loss of her parents.
Containing many classic ingredients of a great read – magic, madness, mystery and adventure – this tale will reward multiple readings as it gradually reveals its secrets. It holds special local appeal for Western Australian readers as much of it is set in Guildford, WA. The story pays loving tribute to libraries and librarians, lauding them as valuable repositories of priceless facts, and the sheer joy of acquiring knowledge is celebrated as the reader travels across the centuries, visiting Greece, Egypt, China, Poland, France, Ethiopia and England, uncovering inspiring places such as the ancient Library of Alexandria, Paris under siege and magical ice fairs on the frozen River Thames.