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Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Review : ‘Anyone but Ivy Pocket' by Caleb Krisp

This turns out to be the oddest review I’ve ever written. Caleb Krisp’s ‘Anyone but Ivy Pocket’ is an unusual book and you would have the funniest expression if you tried to read this one, with a straight face. 

It all starts with a self-important girl of about 12 years, who finds herself in Paris, with Countess Carbunkle. Serving as her maid, this little child, who obviously has grown up too fast is a fascinating character. She tells this story in an almost puffing way. You almost want to tell her to relax, but she is onto the next chapter, anyways. 

So, this little maid finds herself, jobless in no time, thanks to her over the top attitude and her way with words. I don’t mean that in a good fashion but, considering that she uses ‘monstrously’, like she was born saying it.

She is orphaned and poor, but she has cooked up a fascinating tale of how and where she is born and then, grew up. This tale changes with time, place and circumstances, she has to go through.

Ivy, who is left behind in Paris, thanks to her behaviour, soon finds herself in front of fat and sickly, Duchess of Trinity’s bed. Here she has to deliver, a clock diamond to Lady Elizabeth’s granddaughter, Matilda. The clock is an odd mechanism, which has little trickery and some magic, by which it runs. And the Duchess wants Ivy to deliver the diamond on Matilda’s 12th birthday, along with a letter for her grandmother. The night before, Ivy has to leave, she is face to face with another incident, which involves the death of the duchess.

Yet, she sets off, firstly by ship, where she meets Miss Always. Then on,
reaching London, she meets with a Mr Horatio Banks, lawyer to the dead duchess. In London, she is put up at the home of the duchess, where she has quite the adventures to get to, before and after and even during the delivery. Managing to escape though, she heads off to Butterfield Park in Suffolk, the next morning.
At the station, she meets Rebecca, cousin to Matilda. The two reach Suffolk, and then the real adventure begins. Shrouded in mystery, was the diamond and the characters surrounding it. Miss Always was an odd character, but you soon meet, Miss Frost, where you wonder if the oddness would end. Rude Matilda, her grandmother, her mother make up the entire set. But notwithstanding, is the Duchess, who has returned as a ghost.

Ivy seems to be already surrounded by ghosts and attempted murders and mysteries, around them. But there are also prophecies and alternate worlds to complete the circle. The Clock Diamond itself is cursed!

Hilarious, though one wonders, why and how, throughout the book. Not just about the cake flinging character, that Ivy is, but also, about the weird antics she gets up to. Do not be surprised at how plucky and clever, she could be in certain situations. 

Funny, though I do wonder if you would recommend it to your kids, considering how rude and manner less, Ivy could be, in this extremely comical book.

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