Newes from the Dead by Mary Hooper
I don't know if its the cooler weather, the start of school, or the fact that I bought a memory-foam mattress pad that makes my bed unbelievably comfortable... But whatever the reason, I think my reading slump might finally be over. I picked up Newes from the Dead a couple nights ago (like Suite Scarlett it had been sitting in my library basket for way too long), and finished it in one night.
The premise of the novel would be unbelievable -- if you didn't know that it was based on a true story. Anne Green has been hanged in punishment for an unnamed crime (which is explained later). She has been declared dead, and her body is being prepared for a dissection. Robert, a young medical student, is anticipating his first dissection, when he sees her twitch...
Anne is still alive.
Told in alternating chapters, from the perspectives of Anne (as she regains consciousness) and Robert, the novel completely captured my attention. The voices of both narrators were easily distinguishable, and the story moves at a quick pace (partly because the reader just has to keep turning the pages!)
I would definitely recommend Newes from the Dead to fans of historical fiction -- but I think the appeal of this novel may be broader than that, and could be a good pick for students who normally prefer thrillers (but have to read historical fiction for a book report!)
Readers might also enjoy:
Witch Child by Celia Rees
At the Sign of the Star and A True and Faithful Narrative by Katherine Sturtevant
The Minister's Daughter by Julie Hearn
Kids Lit, InteractiveReader's interview with the author, Sarah Miller, InteractiveReader, The Reading Zone, Book Obsession