Rebecca, a 15-year-old American, isn't entirely happy with her life, comfortable though it is. Still, even she knows that she shouldn't talk to strangers. So when her mysterious neighbour Miss Hatfield asked her in for a chat and a drink, Rebecca wasn't entirely sure why she said yes. It was a decision that was to change everything.
For Miss Hatfield is immortal. And now, thanks to a drop of water from the Fountain of Youth, Rebecca is as well. But this gift might be more of a curse, and it comes with a price. Rebecca is beginning to lose her personality, to take on the aspects of her neighbour. She is becoming the next Miss Hatfield.
But before the process goes too far, Rebecca must travel back in time to turn-of-the-century New York and steal a painting, a picture which might provide a clue to the whereabouts of the source of immortality. A clue which must remain hidden from the world. In order to retrieve the painting, Rebecca must infiltrate a wealthy household, learn more about the head of the family, and find an opportunity to escape. Before her journey is through, she will also have - rather reluctantly - fallen in love. But how can she stay with the boy she cares for, when she must return to her own time before her time-travelling has a fatal effect on her body? And would she rather stay and die in love, or leave and live alone?
And who is the mysterious stranger who shadows her from place to place? A hunter for the secret of immortality - or someone who has already found it?
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 17th 2014 by Gollancz
Anna Caltabiano is a 17 year old author, which I actually found rather surprising. Her writing style is very distinctive and her voice very unique. I loved how easily she whisked me away on an immerse and very thrilling adventure.
Miss Hatfield is a big of a strange woman. She moves into a new house and the neighbours are instantly curious but try as they might, she doesn't invite them into her life. Until a little girl called Cynthia comes knocking....
Cynthia is tricked into drinking lemonade spiked with a drop from the fountain of youth. Things are quickly turned upside down for Cynthia, who now finds herself immortal with a difficult task on her hands. Miss Hatfield takes her to 16th century New York and sets her off on a mission to retrieve a painting.
I love seeing Cynthia in a totally new environment and the ways in which she had to try and blend in. I think best of all I loved the simmering love story that bubbled along nicely the whole way through the storyline, distracting Cynthia from her task - it really was quite beautifully innocent.
What this book lacked for me personally was detailing. I wanted to know so much more about the origins of the fountain of youth and a bit more of the overall back story. I had a lot of nagging questions...
The Seventh Miss Hatfield is a memorable time traveling adventure full of danger, mystery and a gorgeous love story. The characters are definitely different and I hope we get more time traveling adventures with them in the future. An all round great read.
3.5 / 5 Stars
*Special thanks to Gollancz for the review copy*