The Pear Affair, Judith Eagle, Faber March 2020

C’est tres bien!

This is an incredible book. An adventure from beginning to end, with a cast of fantastic characters, the city of light and baddies set on destroying the boulangeries across the city.

Nell, a neglected, unwanted child, is home for the school holidays, much to her parents disapproval. She manages to convince them to take her to Paris with them, promising not to cause trouble or make a scene. Nell’s previous Au Pair Perrine, Pear for short is Parisian and so Nell believes this is her one big chance at finding Pear again.

Nell believes she knows where Pear lives and works but is quickly told otherwise. There is a mystery to be solved as to why Pear was fired and where she has gone. Finding herself embroiled with gangs of underground children, Nell starts to find clues and added mysteries to solve. Some of the book is set in the tunnels running under the city, creating a dark and daring atmosphere for Nell and the children.

From reading plenty of children’s fiction, I know that 12 year old girls are fierce, independent and entirely capable of bringing down the bad guys. Nell is no different. She puts forth a plan, asks for help from new friends and finds her way in the world. Her parents are strangely detached and mysterious. When she finds them hiding out in Paris, she decides to figure them out once and for all. Ending up with her mother’s all important handbag, Nell is finally set to get some answers.

I was hooked by this story and loved Nell. There are plenty of twists and turns to take you by surprise and a glorious city to explore with Nell. A perfect book to keep you company on a train to Paris!

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