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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Airy Nothing by Clarissa Pattern is a coming-of-age drama novel set in the Elizabethan era. Wearing his sister's dress, John flees from his home in the countryside, seeking a better life in the magical city of London. But he soon discovers that London isn't exactly how he imagined it. After a rambunctious petty thief named Black Jack takes him under his wing, John sees the actual state of the city, filled with dirty streets, hanged bodies, and dangerous men. However, a chance visit to William Shakespeare's Globe theatre makes John discover his true calling. While Jack helps him become an apprentice to William's brother Master Edmund, an actor, a ruthless crook hunts for them in the streets. Will John and Jack's friendship outlast the tumultuous events?
Laced with heartbreak, humor, and a healthy dose of drama, Airy Nothing is an absolute delight. Clarissa Pattern's prose captures the essence of the Elizabethan era perfectly, with a combination of wit and gravity layering each sentence. The characters are colorful and vibrant, with distinct personalities that pop out of the pages. Their inner conflicts and motives are well-defined, making them easy to relate to. John and Jack's relationship provides the narrative thrust to the story. Their contrasting personas and backgrounds create plenty of dramatic moments, and each scene with the two together is a joy to read. As protagonists, they are immensely likable, and you'll be hard-pressed not to root for them. I thoroughly enjoyed Airy Nothing. Recommended to fans of coming age stories and period dramas alike.