24 Frog Lane by Jo-Anne Southern

four stars

Bea Hyska has no idea the life that she is saving when she adopts a baby girl that she finds abandoned in a box. In 24 Frog Lane, The Early Life of Eugenia Sztuka of “Keeping Mum,” Eugenia Hyska is to become a character like no other. Hard headed, determined, loyal, and often unintentionally hilarious, Eugenia quickly becomes a force to be reckoned with, an individual in her own right. Although Eugenia drops out of school to work in one of London’s button factories and support her aging mother, she remains quick witted, smart, and ahead of the curve– except in her singing abilities. Through her dedication and doggedness, she becomes a well-paid and trusted employee at a used clothing store and the wife of Alfie Sztuka. While Eugenia’s life appears to be a journey from rags to upper-middle class, Alfie’s despicable brother, George, presents obstacles, downfalls, and hardships that no one could ever anticipate.

24 Frog Lane by Jo-Anne Southern is a fun tale of love, thievery, determination, and, quite simply, making and living the life that you want. Eugenia is a character so realistic that she seems like a friend you might call up on the phone. Her flaws are just as genuine as her positive character traits and her dreams are like those of most other girls her age. At times, the story seems to go on for pages about one single idea, but isn’t that the way life is? Eugenia reminds us to value the things that we already have, but to never stop reaching for our even bigger dreams, even if they may be a tad unrealistic.