10-19-2018! Chanticleer Book Reviews awards INFANTS OF THE BRUSH – A Chimney Sweep’s Story by A.M. Watson – Historical Fiction, Chimney Sweep/Child Labor, Georgian Era, 5 out of 5 rating. —-> Check it out online <—-
10-1-2018! Publishers Weekly and BookLife announced today that Infants of the Brush is one of thirty books chosen as a semifinalists from six genres by the editorial staffs. —-> Check it out online <—-
Infants of the Brush: A Chimney Sweep's Story
Infants of the Brush is historical fiction based on Armory v. Delamirie, a 1700s court case before the King's Bench against Paul de Lamerie, a silversmith. In the vein of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, Infants of the Brush is set in a time when London society ignored the ills of child labor. Unlike the gleeful chimney sweeps portrayed in Mary Poppins, climbing boys were forced up burning flues to dislodge harmful soot and coal ash.
Egan Whitcombe is just six years old when he is sold to Master Armory for a few coins that his family desperately needs. As one of Master Armory's eight broomers, Egan quickly learns that his life depends on absolute obedience and the coins he earns.
Pitt, the leader of Master Armory's broomers, teaches Egan to sweep chimneys and negotiate for scraps of bread. Broken and starving, the boys discover friendship as they struggle to save five guineas, the cost of a broomer's independence.
The paperback and eBook are available from Amazon®, Barnes and Noble®, and other IngramSpark® distribution partners. The audiobook, narrated by Michael Troughton, is available from Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.
Editorial Reviews and Awards
“A disturbing but elucidating glimpse into a time and place when, even in a civilized country, poor children’s lives were shockingly undervalued, and their labor exploited. In the author’s skillful hands, though, there is a welcome ray of hope shining through to the conclusion of this haunting saga.” – Chanticleer Reviews (Read Review)
“A. M. Watson's outstanding, immersive debut portrays the broomers whose hopes hang in the balance. Infants of the Brush is a captivating, emotional story that speaks to the powerful will to survive.” Foreword Clarion Reviews, Clarion Rating 5 out of 5 (Read the Review)
“The novel is well paced and skillfully plotted with gripping moments of tension…The characters superbly developed, vivid, and realistic...(the)prose is utterly engaging, straightforward, and rhythmic—featuring excellent descriptions of people and places.” Quarter Finalist – BookLife 2018 Score 10 out of 10 (Read the Review)
“…This poignant story is well written, readable, and hopeful, offering us a view into another time, authentic in its use of dialect, and well worth the time of readers. A great book. Well done in every way!” Reader’s Favorite, 5 out of 5 Stars (Read the Review)