Meggy grew up on her mother’s tavern outside of Elizabethan-era London, until one day, her father sends for her. Her mother is more than happy to send her away, as Meggy is crippled- she can only walk with crutches. So off she goes to London, where she finds that her father is an alchemist. He’s also completely absorbed in his work, leaving Meggy to figure out how to get around London and make sure she and her father actually eat on time.
She eventually makes friends with a number of locals, including a cooper, a local printer, and a family of actors. When her father finds himself caught up in a treasonous plot, it’s her new friends that help Meggy figure out how to help him.
This is a fun book. Because of Meggy’s disabilities, she’s had to grow a thick skin, so she’s appropriately tough, and it’s fun to watch her let down her guard and realize that she has friends in London. The author also does a good job of portraying her disabilities in a very true way – life for Meggy is not easy. Like all of her historical novels, the research really makes the story – it’s a fascinating slice of Elizabethan life.