The Runaway Girls
Written by: Jacqueline Wilson
Penguin Random House
Reviewed by: Saashika Satish Chander
The Runaway Girls is a heart-warming story about the warmth of friendship and the lengths two girls go through to protect theirs. It is set in Victorian England and written by Jacqueline Wilson. In this story, Lucy Locket, the protagonist, runs away from home for multiple reasons relating to her home life. Lucy meets Kitty on her escape, and the two instantly become best friends.
My favourite part of this book is the natural and normal friendship Kitty and Lucy share. They argue and make up, tease and joke like any best friends you might find now. The only disparity is the fact that they lived a hundred years ago, which does tend to make a difference. For example, when Lucy loses Kitty in the park, she has no way of communicating with her and is understandably distraught. Whereas nowadays we can just send our friends a text or call them. Also, the poor are better cared for today, which is a contrast in Lucy’s world where they are ignored if they are lucky, or beaten and shooed away.
Additionally, I love how compatible Lucy and Kitty are. They make a fantastic team when facing foes. Kitty is generally more knowledgeable and fierce, but Lucy makes excellent use of her sweet demeanour and discovers some hidden talents, like lying on the spot well and melting adult’s hearts. Her parents would have a heart attack if they ever saw her, smiling like an angel while spinning devilish lies, but it serves them well on the streets!
I also enjoyed the ending in which Jacqueline subtly brought in an easter egg from another book, though it doesn't hinder your understanding if you haven’t read it yet. Still, for someone who does understand, it was nice to see. I liked the fact that it was a happy ending, perfectly suited for the characters.
All in all, The Runaway Girls is an excellent book that has everything a good read requires: wonderful characters, an awesome story, and an interesting setting. I definitely recommend this book.