The Secret Of The Sealed room by Bailey MacDonald is a historical fiction. I found this story very interesting, because so many things were happening at one time. It was easy to imagine what was happening. This story is about a girl who try’s to gain her liberty and in the process she discovers that she is capable of doing what most girls in Boston couldn’t. Her father taught her how to be strong and brave and this ended up helping her with her desire for justice.
Summary of Book
The story is told by 14-year-old, Patience Martin. Her father died in a shipwreck and her mother of smallpox. One of the men Patience’s father boarded the ship with had a wife named Mrs. Abedela Worth, who was thought to be pregnant, and Patience’s father, Mr. Martin, wrote a contract saying that for seven years Patience indentured to Mrs. Worth. However, Patience didn’t stay the whole 7 years, there were many events that happened as a result Patience ran away because she wanted her freedom and wanted to feel and be loved. Where she ends up is no surprise.
Book Details: Characters
Patience Martin is a very confident, smart, and lovely young lady. She is very kind even though someone is mean to her, she can hold her temper really well.
Mrs. Abedela Worth was the wife of a man who died on the shipwreck with Patience’s father. She was very strict, she would often smack Patience on the face, she knew Patience was very helpful but she didn’t show any thanks or love.
Moll Bacon is a midwife who is very kind and she does all she can to make others happy. I think Moll is very warm-hearted, and loving and she cares about Patience.
Mr. Richard is Mrs. Worth’s brother. He is mean, bossy, and self-centered, he is always rude to everyone especially Patience.
Mr. David is Mr. Richard’s son, Mrs. Worth’s nephew. He is very secretive with everything he does, wrong or right.
Ben, Benjamin Franklin, he is Patience’s friend, very smart and knows his way all around town. He is confident to express his feelings to people he trusts. He shares with people he knows need it the most.
Betty Thayer is Mr. Richard’s cook. She is extremely kind and friendly to Patience, she is shy because Mr. Richard and everyone are mean to her so she just chooses to not talk to them. Betty has a little girl of her own that is Patience’s age, so Betty treats Patience like her own.
Dr. Blackthorn is the town’s best doctor, he is friendly to all. He is truthful and helpful.
James is Ben’s brother; he is not so kind, but he is kind to his friends, but to Ben and Patience he is practically an enemy.
The printing helpers are boys that help James print. James is nice to them because they are his friends. These printing helpers like to talk about how weak an dumb girls are. Of course, Patience and Ben completely disagree with them.
Book Details: Plot
It had been 4 awful years since Patience worked for Mrs. Worth, when Mrs. Worth seemed to be having labour pains. Everyone thought Mrs. Worth was pregnant because she had a big hump on her stomach. Everyone thinks Mrs. Worth died of childbirth. People come in to take Mrs. Worth’s body, then the doctor said it was poison and Mr. Richard asked “are you sure it was poison” The doctor replied “It was arsenic. A physician cannot mistake the symptoms.” Mr. Richard blames her death on Moll Bacon, because she gave Mrs. Worth a simple herb tea to ease her pain of ‘labour’ Moll also put a glass ball next to Mrs. Worth telling her she was going to watch her through that because Mrs. Worth didn’t want Moll to leave, but she told Patience it was an ordinary ball. So that gave another reason for Mr. Richard to accuse her of being a witch. But later in the story, it turns out she was not pregnant. The hump was cancer and the pain was arsenic! Mrs. Worth was poisoned by her own nephew, Mr. David Worth. He had some debts to pay and wanted Mrs. Worth’s iron box of money, he poisoned her by soaking her favorite candles in arsenic, and he knew she read with those candles very night. Patience started to live with Mr. Richard, but when she over-heard his conversation with a lawyer about selling Patience for pennies to a harsh master, she ran away. As she was looking for a place to stay, she remembered a boy named Ben who helped them get into Mrs. Worth’s bedroom through the window because she had locked the door (that’s when she died), so she went to the Boston print shop, that’s where Ben worked for his brother James, and asked for help. He showed her one of the places Mrs. Worth owned and said she could stay there for a while, but the place was right in front of a tannery, so it stunk. Ben said he would come back with clothes, books, and food for her. When she got the food rats came in! They came up with a plan, Patience was to dress as a Quaker, darken her eyebrows with chalk, and take the name Mercy Dyer because in those days no one looked twice at a Quaker, then she could work at the print shop to earn money and to have a place to stay, there was a little cot she could sleep in. She stays there for a while, and at the same time Ben and Patience try to figure out how to get Moll out of jail. After a while of investigating, Mr. David walked into the print shop and recognized Patience! Then she had to give up. And by this time David had been poisoning Mr. Richard! Then Patience, Ben, James, Dr. Blackthorn, Moll, Mr. Thomas(judge), David, constable Wilkes, Mr. Richard, and Betty Thayer had a meeting in the print shop. Ben and Patience said what they new about the poisoning and the stealing of the iron box, Mr. Richard thought Patience had stolen it, then Judge Thomas turned to Moll and told her all charges were turned away from her. Everyone was happy except for David, who was being dragged out of the shop.
Evaluation and Conclusion
As you see, there are many things that happen in the story that demonstrate justice. When Ben and Patience tell all the adults their side of the story, the hidden things come to light, David doesn’t get away with his crime, and Moll is freed. At the end, Ben bought Patience’s indentures and let her go free. Moll welcomes Patience to live with her, and Patience agrees. I highly recommend this book to those of you who love adventure, seeing justice be done and first-hand stories.