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

Posted on the 16 January 2014 by Curlygeek04 @curlygeek04

sweetnessThis was the last book I finished in 2013, and it was a great way to close the year!  I was struggling halfway through A.M. Homes, May We Be Forgiven, and needed something light, and Sweetness was on my shelf.

To be honest, I’d put off reading this book in the fear it would be too cute.  It wasn’t.  The story and its heroine had me hooked from the first chapter, and I didn’t want to put it down.  And, since I’d taken two days off work to ring in the New Year, I didn’t have to put it down.

You’ve no doubt heard of these books already, but here’s the synopsis.  Flavia de Luce is living in small town England in the 50’s, in an old country house called Buckshaw.  She’s 11 and loves chemistry with a passion.  Her older sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, have no interest in her.  Flavia is the kind of character you’re expecting from a mystery novel: she’s tenacious, smart, nosy, and adventurous.  She doesn’t care about things like etiquette and it drives her crazy when people call her “dearie” or “just a girl.”  I couldn’t relate to the chemistry part but liked everything else about her.

The book has kind of a “Downton Abbey” vibe to it, even though it’s set in the 50’s: aging English mansion in modern economic times, father holding on to old traditions, girls trying to balance between societal expectations and changing times, the men dealing with traumatic war experiences.  Of course maybe the 20’s and 50’s were pretty similar in small town England.

I really liked the mystery story, particularly since Flavia learns a lot about her father as the story goes on, and the detective work is sort of realistic, except for the fact that everyone that needs to be visited is within bicycling distance.  I’m not sure Flavia is a realistic 11-year-old, but she doesn’t have to be.  I like that she starts off with an immature passion for making poisons and grand schemes to murder people she doesn’t like — but during the course of the novel she begins to see how death has real repercussions. Another thing that elevated this book was Flavia’s struggle between being herself, and fitting in with her family.  I wish I had more of her spirit as a girl.

Not to make more of this book than I should, it’s basically a light, fun mystery, but one I highly enjoyed.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Team of European and Middle Eastern Women Ski to the North Pole

    Team European Middle Eastern Women North Pole

    A team of adventurous women from Europe and the Middle East completed a last degree ski expedition – which calls itself the Women's Euro-Arabian North Pole... Read more

    7 hours, 56 minutes ago by   Kungfujedi
  • Deaddicting Yourself

    Deaddicting Yourself

    Do you have a habit that you want to get rid off but are so addicted to it that you have no idea -How To Do That? Do you realize that a particular trait is... Read more

    8 hours, 13 minutes ago by   Chetan
  • Design Diary: Scandinavian Style Kitchen Renovation by Helios Design Group

    Design Diary: Scandinavian Style Kitchen Renovation Helios Group

    I write a lot of one page design columns for Boston Globe Magazine. This one, published last fall with photos by Jared Kuzia, is one of my favorites. Read more

    8 hours, 27 minutes ago by   Stylecarrot
  • The Hipster


    According to Wiki, "The hipster subculture is stereotypically composed of younger and middle-aged adults who reside primarily in gentrified neighbourhoods. Read more

    8 hours, 33 minutes ago by   Ashleylister
  • Airbus A330-200, Iberia

    Airbus A330-200, Iberia

    @ San Francisco, CA April 2018 Iberia flight 6175 on final approach as it nears completion of the inaugural flight from Madrid, Spain.  This marks the start of... Read more

    8 hours, 56 minutes ago by   Htam
  • Himalaya Spring 2018: Collapse in Icefall Injures Two Sherpas

    Himalaya Spring 2018: Collapse Icefall Injures Sherpas

    As if the climbers, Sherpas, and porters on the South Side of Everest got a sharp reminder of the dangers they face yesterday when a section of the Khumbu... Read more

    9 hours, 56 minutes ago by   Kungfujedi
  • Questions Not Normally Asked by Golf Beginners

    Questions Normally Asked Golf Beginners

    Learning all there is to the game of golf isn't easy - aside from attaining a repeatable swing, selecting the right golf clubs and cultivating proper... Read more

    10 hours, 13 minutes ago by   Golfforbeginners