Sapphire Battersea: A Brief Overview of the Book’s Story, Awards, Critiques, and Characters


Sapphire Battersea is a captivating novel that forms part of the Hetty Feather series, written by Jacqueline Wilson. The book delves into the life of Hetty Feather, a determined young girl who confronts various challenges and adventures on her journey towards finding her place in the world. This article will provide an overview of the story, discuss any accolades received, highlight critical reviews and praises, and introduce important characters within the book.

Summary of the Book

Sapphire Battersea follows the compelling life story of Hetty Feather. Orphaned as a baby, Hetty grows up in the Foundling Hospital, an institution for abandoned children. As she approaches her teenage years, Hetty embarks on a new journey as a maid of all work in a grand country house. Determined to escape her difficult circumstances, she learns to navigate the complex realm of society while grappling with the trials and tribulations that come her way. The book showcases Hetty’s unwavering spirit, her tenacity, and her quest for independence, providing readers with a gripping narrative that explores themes of self-discovery, perseverance, and resilience.

Awards and Recognition

Sapphire Battersea has received critical acclaim and has garnered several notable awards and recognitions. It was shortlisted for the National Book Awards in the UK in 2011, cementing its status as a well-regarded literary work. The book’s careful attention to historical detail and its ability to captivate readers of all ages have contributed to its success.

Reviews and Critiques

Since its publication, Sapphire Battersea has received a mixture of reviews and critiques from both literary critics and readers alike. Many praise the book for its engaging storytelling, historical accuracy, and the relatable struggles faced by the protagonist, Hetty Feather. The novel’s exploration of social class, friendship, and self-acceptance has resonated with readers across the globe. However, some critics argue that the book’s pacing could have been improved, claiming that certain sections felt rushed or lacking in depth. Overall, the general consensus is that Sapphire Battersea is a compelling and thought-provoking addition to the Hetty Feather series.

Important Characters

Sapphire Battersea introduces a host of memorable characters that add depth and complexity to the story. Some of the significant characters in the book include:

1. Hetty Feather

The protagonist of the novel, Hetty Feather, is a headstrong and resilient young girl determined to overcome the challenges life throws at her. Her courage, wit, and unwavering spirit make her a compelling character to follow throughout the book.

2. Ida

Ida, Hetty’s foster sister, plays a significant role in her life. Despite their differences, the girls develop a deep bond over time, supporting and comforting each other through various trials and tribulations.

3. Madame Adeline

Madame Adeline, an eccentric and enigmatic character, becomes an important figure in Hetty’s life. She introduces Hetty to a whole new world filled with possibilities, offering her encouragement and guidance along the way.

4. Sapphire Battersea

The title of the book itself refers to Sapphire Battersea, an intriguing character whose presence has a profound impact on Hetty’s journey. As readers delve into the narrative, they uncover the significance and the role this character plays in shaping Hetty’s destiny.


With its compelling storyline, well-crafted characters, and exploration of themes such as resilience and self-discovery, Sapphire Battersea is a must-read for literature enthusiasts and fans of the Hetty Feather series. Despite some mixed critiques, the book’s numerous accolades and recognition testify to its enduring appeal. Through this novel, Jacqueline Wilson once again showcases her talent for creating engaging stories with relatable characters that resonate with readers worldwide.

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