Review – The Curious Tale Of The Lady Caraboo by Catherine Johnson


Caraboo Blog Tour Poster v5

The 2nd July 2015 marks the release day of the historical YA story The Curious Tale Of The Lady Caraboo by Catherine Johnson published by Corgi Childrens.  I am very excited to have been sent a proof copy of this book and been asked to be part of the brilliant blog tour by the lovely Ming ( @raremediumwelldone ).

I am over the moon to be part of the wonderful blog tour for this book and for my stop on the tour I will be reviewing The Curious Tales Of The Lady Caraboo!

Thank you to both Ming and Catherine for having me on this wonderful tour.


Out of the blue arrives an exotic young woman from a foreign land. Fearless and strong ‘Princess’ Caraboo rises above the suspicions of the wealthy family who take her in. But who is the real Caraboo? In a world where it seems everyone is playing a role, couls she be an ordinary girl with a tragic past? Is she a confidence trickster? Or is she the princess everyone wants her to be? Whoever she is, she will steal your heart…

Publisher – Corgi Children’s

Date Published – 2nd July 2015

Pages – 288 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – UK YA, Historical

Source –

I was sent a copy of this book by the wonderful Ming for this blog tour.  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you Ming for sending this to me to read!

** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**

I have really really wanted to read some historical fiction this year and as of yet I had not got around to it so when I was offered the chance to read this book I jumped and waved and shouted me me me and got very excited indeed!  I have heard so many good things about Catherine Johnson’s books that I was intrigued and this story seemed really interesting and curious….and since reading it I have to say I loved it!

The Curious Tale Of The Lady Caraboo had me hooked right from the beginning.  It is set in the year 1819 and tells the tale of a wealthy family, the Worralls, who find a lady from a foreign land, Mary Willcox, in distress and decide to take her into their home, help her and want to find out more about her.  She tells them her name is Caraboo and they come to the conclusion that she is a Princess!  Caraboo has good intentions to only stay a couple of days, but as the Worralls become more curious about this mystery lady who speaks a different language and wears different clothes Caraboo becomes more drawn into their world and their family.

From the offset this book had me captivated!  The pages basically turned themselves as I was transported back into the past, loved the story and loved all of the characters.  The writing just flowed on each page and I feel that is a credit to Catherine’s writing style completely.  It never let me go until I finished the book!

I enjoyed all of the characters in the book.  The wealthy family of the Worralls were all so unique in their own ways and it really felt like Caraboo touched the heart of each and everyone of them.  Cassandra, who made me roll my eyes a few times I have to admit, was both adorable and frustrating, but it completely fit her character as the daughter of the rich family.  Nothing really phased her and she seemed to go with the flow, but could be very selfish when it comes to love and dresses!  I still liked her though and her acceptance and caring of Caraboo was so lovely to read.  Okay maybe I have to admit I was lusting over her love interest Will, the innkeepers son, throughout most of the book as he was rather…..lets say distracting *swoons*  You would be good enough for me any day Will!  Then you have Fred, Cassandra’s brother who whilst I couldn’t stand him at the start of the book with his views about women and how he treated them (the 1800’s were obviously a time when rules were deemed very different for men and women on how to behave), but grew on me completely throughout the book …stick with him though he’s definately worth it!

I think one of my favourite characters was Mrs Worrall.  She is completely intrigued by Caraboo which in a way is so lovely to read and see as she wants to understand this lady who is from a different way of life and wants to know all about her and where she has come from although, some of her methods were a little scary to be honest, but in the 1800 these were obviously standard practise including using electric thearpy and the shapes of peoples heads etc.  I felt she was quite proud of Caraboo and even comissioned her portrait to be painted by an artist, but upon reflection maybe saw her as a little experment maybe, but she did have a caring side towards Caraboo.

No book would be complete without a bad guy and poor Caraboo suffers at the hands of a villian quite partial to a drink or two.

Caraboo was just so lovely.  I loved her so much.  She seized the opportunity of being Caraboo rather than Mary Willcox and became very much a free spirit.  I loved the way she spent time on the roof of the house that became her spot and I laughed out loud at one point when she jumps through a window to make an entrance when she’s looking for Cassandra.  Her intentions are good and she seemed to have a good heart and care about the Worrall family.  I could really get the sense of Caraboo’s feelings and how her path in life had not been an easy one.  She melted my heart a little I have to admit.

I loved the relationship that develops between Caraboo and Fred it was so lovely to read.  Fred is initially worried that Caraboo will tarnish the family name and has a feeling she is fooling the family and Caraboo initially, like me, dislikes Fred and often wants to push Fred off the roof and into horse manure which made me chuckle a lot.  One of my favourite parts of the book was when Caraboo and Fred go hunting and experiencing the raw outdoors together.  Whilst Caraboo seems natural with this, Fred most defiantely was not and I just loved the scene as some of the scenarios like Fred falling over into the ash had me chuckling.

Catherine writes a brilliant author note in the back of the book explaining some of the research she did whilst writing this book.  You get a huge sense of the passion and intrigue Catherine had with this story and this curious tale and whilst she stuck to as many facts as possible throughout her story she provides the reader with some historical facts about Princess Caraboo giving reference to some books that are in fact mentioned here when I looked up the Princess Caraboo on google as like Catherine her story and history have intrigued me to do my own mini research.

I read this book super quick as I was that engrossed in the story.  I loved every single page of it!  I will be rushing out to but more of Catherine’s books as if this is anything to go by what am I missing out on?! 🙂

I highly recomend this book to everyone even if you have no interest in historical fiction.  It is a tale of love and kindness and about a lady who is as curious as the books title suggests.

I award this book 5 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books!


You can buy this book, The Curious Tale Of The Lady Caraboo, here

Or why not add it to your to read list on Goodreads here

About Catherine Johnson


Catherine has written lots of books including the award winning Sawbones, and Arctic Hero chosen by Booktrust for Booked up in 2010. She has two grown up children and is a Londoner who lives by the sea. She also writes for film and TV.

Check out Catherine’s website here

Or why not follow her on twitter using @CatWrote

Also check out Catherine’s other books here

The Curious Tale Of The Lady Caraboo Blog Tour

Don’t forget you can catch up of the rest of the Blog Tour for this brilliant book by checking out the stops below!

Caraboo Blog Tour Poster v5

Have you read The Curious Tale Of The Lady Caraboo or any of Catherine Johnsons other books?  What did you think?  Has this review made you want to go grab a copy?  Have you ever pretended to be someone else maybe?  I would love to here from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading….and falling in love with this book!





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I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek! Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016! © 2014 - 2021 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

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