Fifteen-year-old Thomas Rose has already come to grips with the fact that his life is on the verge of change, but when he meets a girl named Ling, he know for sure that things will never be the same again. She is searching for a white horse named Belladonna, the same equine she used to dance atop at the circus. When Belladonna was sold, Ling swore she would never dance again until she found her. With Thomas' help, they just might be able to do that. As well as a lot of growing up along the way, too.
Belladonna is not an easy book to read, but a rather rewarding one if you do. I will tell you up front that from the cover and synopsis, I was totally expecting (and hoping!) to get a circus story. Unfortunately, that is not the case at all. However, though it is not my desired circus show, this novel was very rich with the atmosphere of mid-eighteenth century life. Ling is a fabulous character, and wise beyond her years. She felt both like the girl-next-door and exotic at the same time. By comparison, Tom was bland and uninteresting. The writing is a little dry and difficult to plow through for the average YA reader, but for those who stick with it, Mary Finn delivers a delightful gem of a tale.
Overall Rating: 3 Stars