Nell Magnificent is a twelve-year-old girl with neglectful parents and a dream to go to Paris to find Pear. Pear’s real name is Perrine and she was Nell’s au pair until her parents sent Nell to boarding school, five years previous.

The Pear Affair begins when Nell comes home for school holidays to find her parents preparing to go to Paris on a business trip. Nell persuades her parents to take her along. Once in Paris, Nell runs away and starts looking for her missing friend, but this is far more difficult than she expects. In the process, Nell makes friends with lots of other children, many of whom roam the underground tunnels of Paris. She discovers her new friends have problems of their own as many have parents who work at bakeries where the bread is being attacked with a mysterious bacteria.

Meanwhile, the Mayor and the Municipal Department want to stop children using the underground tunnels so they can be used for their own unsavoury activities. The increasing complexities of these problems and the growing number of characters in the book, slacken the pace of the story and it becomes long-winded. In the end, the author, Judith Eagle, does well to draw all the unanswered questions together.

While the story is well-written and is initially engaging, I found I lost interest about halfway through, with the mounting problems and increasing number of distasteful characters.

Overall, a drawn-out story, but concludes well.

Thanks to Christian School Supplier for providing a free book for review.