I listened to this as an audiobook, and I’m sorry to say that it was hard for me to give the story a fair reaction as my feelings toward it were coloured by my reaction to the narrator. The narrator was a very posh, older English gentleman, and (as I’ve said before) there is something about the very posh English voice that just sets me on edge. I know that it’s a prejudice, and therefore wrong of me, but I just think of colonialism and aristocracy and exploitation and arrogance when I hear a voice like that and it’s hard for me to see past it. Also I thought his tone was a times a little patronising, the way some people are when talking to children. Again, I acknowledge that this could be just me projecting my prejudice.
That aside, I did like the story. Sophie was found as a baby floating in a Cello case after a shipwreck and is taken in by a bumbling but lovely English man. It is Victorian England, but he refuses to enforce female decorum on her which horrifies the establishment. When Sophie is convinced her mother is still alive and she is desperate to find her, and the authorities want to take her away from her kindly guardian they run away together to Paris, following clues about Sophie’s mother. Sophie meets a boy who lives on the rooftops of Paris, and his friends among the other ‘rooftoppers’ and they help her follow the clues to finding her mother.