Meggy Swann is sent to live with a father she has never met in London. He is expecting a boy, not a crippled girl and promptly ignores her. She is alone in a strange city with no friends except a goose. But Meggy is not one to just give in. She makes friends (human ones) and becomes part of the city life. She makes herself useful to her alchemist father and uncovers a murder plot.
Meggy is a crabby, unhappy girl at the beginning of this book. She is not all that likable as she throws insults after insults to just about everyone. But once she settles in to London life she does grow on a reader. I listened to the audiobook and found it quite charming. The narrator, Katherine Kellgren, did an amazing job. Her voice fits with the time period and she was lovely singing the ballads. Cushman did a wonderful job recreating the historical period. She used authentic but not obscure language. Meggy might turn some readers off as she is a bit hard to like, but the book was worth the read.