Once again Oliver and Jack are subjected to the brutal realities of the Draconian class divides in England.
After escaping the workhouse in Axminister, I thought these two young men might have an easier time in book 4. I mean they have been to hell and back. But life for they two young men, though less brutal, emotionally they are torn to shreds.
They first try and connect to Jack’s mother, but it is obvious that Jack is not welcome. Then the head north to try and connect with Oliver’s Aunt and Uncle. And this is where the real emotional pain hit me the hardest. For poor Oliver has yearned to reconnect with his family, it seems that his aunt at least only tolerates Jack, and they are determined to separate the two young men.
Though their bond and love are stronger and when Oliver realises that he could not live apart from Jack. They head back to London.
You know Jackie has managed to fill the story world with a vibrant detail. I felt like I was walking along the riverside of the river Avon and riding the rickety coaches across country. She has built a truly amazing story world that is accurate and authentic to the time, whether it is the beautiful English countryside or the dirty and smoggy streets of London.
I just love Oliver and Jack, both want to make the other happy, and care for each other. I also like the tussle they play, in being the one that is the carer (for want of a better word). The banter between them is a strong as ever. Again, the author has sprinkled her magic on their conversations, with Oliver’s shy and properness and Jacks cheeky, rough, and ready characters complementing each other. I did notice Oliver is a little less naive and prudish, as you would expect after the journey together.
Book four is as strong as the previous books, and I am already starting to feel the doom of only having two books in the series left to read. I always get sad when I end a really good series, but I think I will especially miss Oliver and Jack.
I wonder if I can beg and plead Jackie to write more books of Oliver and Jackie lol.