Wildwing by Emily Whitman (Published by Greenwillow Books, September 21, 2010)
Growing up in 1915 England, fifteen-year-old Addy has always resented that she is poor and illegitimate, and longs to rise above her station in life. All these years, she has had to endure the cruel teasing of the other girls, who think she is a worthless nobody. Now, her mother has forced her to leave school and take a job as a maid to Mr. Greenwood, a rather eccentric man who never recovered from the death of his wife and the disappearance of their only child. Addy eventually learns to enjoy her job and the books Mr. Greenwood allows her to read. But then her mother threatens to send Addy away to become a live-in servant far from home. Investigating the mysterious locked room in Mr. Greenwood's house, she finds a strange contraption that turns out to be a time machine that takes Addy back in time to her town during the Middle Ages.
At first, Addy sees this as the perfect opportunity. She can escape her mother's plans and build a new life in another time. And when she is mistaken for a noblewoman, the Lady Matilda, her plan seems to be working perfectly. But then she learns Lady Matilda is the intended bride of a much-older nobleman, a fate difficult to accept now that she is falling in love with Will, a handsome young man who is the falconer's apprentice and far below Lady Matilda's social class. Can Addy find a way to be with Will and live the life she's always wanted?
Wildwing was a very enjoyable read that will appeal to readers of young adult historical fiction, fantasy, and romance. From the start I sympathized with Addy over the cruel treatment she endured from her classmates and her longing to escape a life of drudgery. The story was rather predictable at times, but even when I could guess what would happen I still enjoyed reading about it.
Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.