The House of Windjammer by V. A. Richardson

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In the autumn of 1636, tulip fever is sweeping Amsterdam, and Europe's fortunes rise and fall with the promise of the New World. That year, the great Dutch family of Windjammer suffers the loss of their entire trading fleet and they face certain ruin. The only person who can save the family's home, fortune, and reputation is Adam, the family's young heir. But he faces many enemies encouraged by the despicable banker Hugo van Helsen, and stirred up by the wicked preacher Abner Heems. Only one hope remains:a dark secret, a rare treasure called the Black Pearl. It is not the precious jewel that Adam imagines, but a flower:a tulip:one of the rarest and most valuable. In fact, it is worth enough money at the height of tulip fever to save the House of Windjammer. Adam is determined to find this hidden treasure, but he is not the only one on a mission to find the Black Pearl.

About V. A. Richardson

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V. A. Richardson had the idea for writing The House of Windjammer when he visited an exhibition of Dutch paintings. He lives in London.
Published July 21, 2003 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. 352 pages
Genres: Young Adult, History, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Travel. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The House of Windjammer

Kirkus Reviews

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Leading a faintly Dickensian cast, sullen Adam Windjammer blunders about searching for such a miracle, having his fat repeatedly pulled from contrived fires by the far brighter and more competent Jade, Van Helsen’s adventurous, neglected daughter—until, after many trite set pieces and clumsily in...

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Publishers Weekly

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For reasons that are never adequately explained, the Windjammers have become the target of the ambitious and grandly vindictive ("I have the power to destroy you utterly, Adam Windjammer!") banker Hugo van Helsen, who seeks to take over their remaining assets.

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Historical Novel Society

I wanted to shake Adam for seeming so deliberately obtuse, wilfully fool-hardy and all-too-often stupidly short-sighted –– which is what happens when a book is plot-driven rather than character-driven.

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