Cover Image: The Strange Adventures of H

The Strange Adventures of H

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Not quite the book I was expecting and so took me a few attempts to get through. Not really my style and I found it difficult to connect with.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book! Set in London, we follow the life of H, her family, and motley crew of friends and acquaintances. Our glorious protagonist lives through the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London, doing everything (any anything) she can to survive. In the course of her life, H reinvents herself more times than Madonna! "The Strange Adventures of H" is perfect historical fiction, including themes of love, betrayal, friendship and family. It's an outstanding debut and I can't wait to read whatever Sarah Burton writes next.
Was this review helpful?
The Strange Adventures of H by Sarah Burton is a fabulous story bringing life to plague ridden England. It is a story of determination, fortitude and the unwillingness to let societal expectations hold you back.

H, our protagonist is a young girl who has seen her fair share of bad times. After the death of her mother, the fall of her sister (quite the scandal) and then the subsequent death of her father H along with her sister are sent to live with their aunt however when the plague hits H's life is once again in the hands of the gods. As an unwed woman during this period H does what she can to survive but it comes at a cost.

The Strange Adventures of H was a great story. It put me in mind of a modern day Moll Flanders. H is a fantastic representation of feminism before it was even a thing. She is feisty, courageous and tenacious and I loved going on this romp of a journey with her.

The Strange Adventures of H by Sarah Burton is available now.

For more information regarding Sarah Burton (@AdveturesOfH1) please visit the Twitter page.
Was this review helpful?
What a curious little jaunt through 17th century London this book proved to be! I admit that it was pure cover love that first drew me to the story, and I am so glad that I embarked on this journey. Covering historical events such as the plague, the Great Fire of London and the Shrove Tuesday Riots, this was not only an unusual but refreshingly honest (and sometimes funny) tale told through the eyes of an enigmatic, plucky young protagonist.

After having been orphaned as a young child,  the girl “H” and her older sister are sent to live with an aunt in London, where they act as part surrogate daughters, part hired help in their relative’s large and comfortable house. Life is good until a series of disasters (being raped by an older cousin, falling pregnant and losing most of her remaining family to the plague), H finds herself on the streets, having to fend for herself to survive. But she is nothing but resourceful, and the following story tells of her adventures ...

If you think that having a character only referred to as “H” is strange, don’t let this put you off from reading this delightful book – you will find out the reason soon enough! H was a wonderful protagonist, representing the life of a young woman in the era, even if her journey was anything but ordinary. This is not the type of dry, tedious historical fiction often encountered when reading about the late middle ages, but a story full of family drama, intrigue and adventure. The setting in old London town is atmospheric and evokes the era perfectly, especially in the grip of the plague and with a fire destroying great parts of the city. I also fell in love with many of the other colourful characters starring in H’s life, which added interesting side elements to the story.

At times, I was divided between taking the book as an entertaining romp (it appears at times not to take itself too seriously, with H’s often quite humorous observations) and wanting a bit more emotional depth, for example the terrible stresses encountered during the plague, which sometimes felt rushed and a bit glossed over. Covering a large timespan, the story often jumped over details I really wanted to explore a bit deeper.

All in all, THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF H was an atmospheric, entertaining romp through 17th century London, led by an enigmatic female lead. Exploring the darker elements of the time through a tongue-in-cheek lens, the book never became dark or confronting despite not shirking away from the hardships faced by women of the era. The book made a pleasant change from others in the genre, not overly romanticizing history but also managing to remain upbeat and often laugh-out-loud funny when seeing the world through H’s eyes. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from this author in future.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 ✨

A young girl named H grows into a strong woman. We join H and her life journey as she navigates through 17th century England and all of the troubling times that it entails, including the Plague of London and the Great Fire of London, 1666.

Sarah Burton has done a fantastic job, and the more that I read, the more I needed to know what would happen next. The Strange Adventures of H are indeed quite strange, but more than anything, this book is humbling.

This book was atmospheric, full of surprises and plot twists, and the narrative was so descriptive that I felt like I was there. I could see the sights that H saw, I could feel her joys and her fears.

I enjoyed that Burton touched on a variety of themes as the book evolved, and appreciated the effort that was put into showcasing the delicate, yet brash relationship between money and people, whether it be greed that devours family and friends, or a staggering struggle to survive.

Although a lot of darkness crosses the pages of this book, I never found it to be depressing or grotesque. Burton's way with writing gave rise to questions that became answered, and twists and turns that kept me reading. However, I did dock half a star as certain sections of the novel felt disconnected and slow. Nevertheless, I was amazed with H and her ability to continue to press forward.

Overall, a very enjoyable historical fiction!

Content Warning ⚠️: Sexual content, depictions of rape and/or sexual assault, suicide-ideation, mention of parental death, hanging/execution, prostitution.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC. I am posting this review voluntarily.
Was this review helpful?
CW (for the book): contains gruesome depictions of death due to the Black Plague, mentions prostitution (protagonist is a prostitute), rape (and incest), and suicide.

*This review contains very light spoilers.*

The Strange Adventures of H follows a young girl, H, as she grows up in 14th/15th century (I'm not sure which).

This novel is character driven and the plot is very questionable sometimes. Actually I wouldn't even say it's character driven; this book follows H and that's it. It's literally about her life and even H seemed to be very two-dimensional from time to time. Any plot "developments" that take place have been put in place purely to make it seem like time has passed or something is happening outside of H's life. 

Even her entire stint in prostitution felt very disconnected from her storyline. Nothing that happened seemed to impact H in any way - or it's entirely possible that it did impact her but I just couldn't sense it.
This book is also very long - too long, I thought. 

The one plus point of this book is the writing - the writing is really good; much better than I expected. 

It's a very average novel and not something that you'll remember reading. There are definitely enjoyable parts to it but overall it's underwhelming.
Was this review helpful?
A survival tale and historical coming of age story in which orphaned young H struggles to overcome the challenges life throws at her during the time of the plague in London.  This was an immersive read with a host of memorable characters and H was a worthy heroine throughout the surprising turns her life took.  I would definitely read more from this author; she evoked just the right amount of historical detail and wove a fascinating tale.
Was this review helpful?
This was archived before I could download it. This was archived before I could download it. This was archived before I could download it.
Was this review helpful?
Oh, Sarah Burton can do no wrong. I loved this. I was so, so engaged with the plot and the characters. It was a completely immersive novel that I just couldn't put down. The descriptions were so vivid and so believable. The cover is also absolutely beautiful!
Was this review helpful?
The strange adventures of H, is the story of a strong, resilience  and intelligent woman who lived in the 17th. She had not an peaceful life, but she is smart, learns to survive and forge her own path, she becomes the owner of her own life.

It feels almost like a biography. The stories start when H its a child, she lived with her father and sisters in a little town, when her father dies, her life will change, she with one of her sister will move to London. Her aunt adores them and H is fascinated with the city, she will had the opportunity to learn to read and become a young lady. But soon her life will change again, it's the year 1665, a year full of disasters. But soon her life will change again, it's the year 1665, a year full of disasters. Second: Great Plague of London. Here is when the story turns up very dramatic.

The title is perfect for the story; such a life have H, one day fortune smiles at her, the next day everything collapses. The characters feels very real, and appropriately historical, as well as the writing style, almost feels like reading some classic novel.  It is a story that shows us how hard life could be in the 17th century. And the few options a woman had. H will prove that she ambitious and independent, she will live by her rules and not someone else’s, survival is a matter of skills and wit.

PS: I adore the cover, so beautiful and clever.
Was this review helpful?
If I could give this book more stars I would. It was a sheer joy to read from start to finish. 
It was full of drama, angst, thrills, sadness and equal happiness. One minute I was fearing for her life but the next applauding her for her bravery and survival.
I felt like I was experiencing everything H did the entire time, and now I feel emotional towards the end.
Honestly this was a fantastic piece of historical fiction that I am very honored to have read pre-publication.
Was this review helpful?
The Strange Adventures of H by Sarah Burton
This is a rollicking adventure set around the time of the Great Fire of London and tells the story of H.  She is brought up by her dour, religious father who shows no compassion when one of his daughters finds herself pregnant.  He turns her out and she is left to fend for herself.
Upon his untimely demise the rest of the family are forced to appeal to their relatives to show charity towards them.  H and her sister find themselves living in London with their kindly aunt.  But life does not run smoothly for H first the household succumbs to plague and then they are devastated by fire.  
H uses her womanly wiles to support herself and she proves herself to be a strong, liberated, intelligent, formidable character.  The author describes the character is such a way to make her leap off the pages and you find yourself fully involved in the roller coaster ride which is her life. 
The period is finely evoked and you are drawn along to the brilliant resolution to H’s Adventures.  It is a boisterous and lively story which is at turns tragic, funny, exciting and poignant.  I would recommend this to those who enjoy historical novels with strong female characters. Many thanks to Sarah Burton, Legend Press and Net Galley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This is the story of H she doesn't know what the H stands for, she's never asked and she's never been told. Her mother died giving birth to her, her strict father died when she was in her early teens. H and her sister went to Live with her aunt in London as servants but her kind Aunt just wanted the girls company.

The story is set in London around the time of the plauge in the 1600's. Its was strikingly similar to covid times. I was drawn to H from the start. Rather naive it gave her so much charm. I did feel for her and what happened. Her cousin was an absolute monster. I loved how it was written, as if direct from H. Awful events happen but we are spared a lot of the details because it is written this way. 

I stopped reading this ebook after three chapters and bought the paperback version. This book is one of those books you just need on your bookcase. The cover is beautiful,  I didn't notice the skulls amongst the roses on the ebook. Absolutely loved it.
Was this review helpful?
A fun, unexpected book. Very timely read, with everything going on in the world. Loved it!  I fell absolutely in love with H and her tenacity.  Would love to read more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
Majestic narrative historical fiction covering historical events that sometimes feel eerie in their similarities to current times.  H is a wonderful heroine that perseveres through unspeakable hardships.  Very enjoyable.  More people should be talking about this book!
Was this review helpful?
I adored this book! H was an amazing character and the historical detail was great. There was humour and sadness and all through it I was rooting for H to end up happy and content.

It reminded me of The Illumination of Ursula Flight who is one of my favourite literary heroines. 

An excellent historical fiction read.
Was this review helpful?
It was quite surreal reading a book about the plague during Covid times. I identified with the fear and the want to protect and the need to survive. There was an enjoyable justice that happened to some of the unsavoury characters. The descriptions were so vivid, I could actually picture how the fires of London looked and smelt.

Magical.
Was this review helpful?
Historical Fiction of dreams! Set in 1665 & 1666 we follow our protagonist ‘H’ on her journey of survival through London during The Great Plague & The Great Fire of London. Packed full of historical knowledge, there were so many aspects to the fire and the plague that I wasn’t aware of. H is the most likeable character, I couldn’t help but love her.
Was this review helpful?
I love Historical Fiction, so that was a good starting point.  The story is set in London in the mid 1650s. It is about a girl called H, the youngest of 6 daughters. On the death of her father, she and her sisters were orphaned. Her Aunt Madge took both H and her sister Evelyn to live with her. Everything goes smoothly until her twin cousins arrive home from school. Roger is not a pleasant character and after bad behaviour to H, he throws her out in the street. So it is a story of survival and the lengths to which she had to go in order to survive.  It tells of her fortunes during the Plague and also then the great fire of London.   The description of Plague victims and their quarantine is reminiscent of our lockdown for covid 19 today. It is said history repeats itself. Throughout the book I was rooting for H and her friends and loved her ability to overcome all her difficulties. 
My thanks to NetGalley for an eARC copy, to Sarah Burton and to Legend Press.
Was this review helpful?
This was an enjoyable look at the plague and the great fire of London. H is the youngest sister of a family of girls who is sent to live with her aunt in London following the death of her father. 

Things then take a turn for the worse and H is turned out onto the streets of London. She has a good survival instinct and level of determination and meets a colourful cast of characters.

Really loved this book. All the characters are very well written.
Was this review helpful?