Fallen Grace

Fallen Grace

3.68 (1,973 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Grace Parkes has just had to do a terrible thing. Having given birth to an illegitimate child, she has travelled to the famed Brookwood Cemetery to place her small infant's body in a rich lady's coffin. Following the advice of a kindly midwife, this is the only way that Grace can think of to give something at least to the little baby who died at birth, and to avoid the ignominy of a pauper's grave. Distraught and weeping, Grace meets two people at the cemetery: Mrs Emmeline Unwin and Mr James Solent. These two characters will have a profound effect upon Grace's life. But Grace doesn't know that yet. For now, she has to suppress her grief and get on with the business of living: scraping together enough pennies selling watercress for rent and food; looking after her older sister, who is incapable of caring for herself; thwarting the manipulative and conscience-free Unwin family, who are as capable of running a lucrative funeral business as they are of defrauding a young woman of her fortune. A stunning evocation of life in Victorian London, with vivid and accurate depictions, ranging from the deprivation that the truly poor suffered to the unthinking luxuries enjoyed by the rich: all bound up with a pacy and thrilling plot, as Grace races to unravel the fraud about to be perpetrated against her and her sister.show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 134 x 198 x 28mm | 340.19g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0747599130
  • 9780747599135
  • 355,283

About Mary Hooper

Mary Hooper is a very popular writer for children and young adults. Mary's brilliant historical novels, At the House of the Magician, By Royal Command, The Betrayal, At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, Petals in the Ashes and The Extraordinary Life and Times of Eliza Rose, have a huge fan base, as do her contemporary novels for teenagers. Mary is very much in demand for her events at literary festivals and schools. She lives in Henley-on-Thames.show more

Review quote

'A sensitive and tautly-plotted novel, intelligently told' Daily Mail 'Nobody tells a story like Mary Hooper does. Her ability to make the lives of girls in times past come alive for the modern reader is a special skill. As well as her superb grasp of period settings, she revels in extraordinary and fascinating human stories that cry out to be told. Such lives could not be in better hands' John McLay, Director, Bath Festival of Children's Literature 'An exceptional, highly involving and affecting tale that is definitely a must read for 2010' Jake Hope, YLG and The Bookseller 'This one is Hooper's breakthrough and its characterisation, plotting and atmosphere are first-rate and deserve prizes ... Not since Philip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke has there been such a gorgeous evocation of Victorian life - or so satisfying a conclusion' Amanda Craig, The Timesshow more

Rating details

1,973 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 23% (453)
4 37% (725)
3 29% (579)
2 8% (153)
1 3% (63)

Our customer reviews

I found this to be a great book! For anyone, like myself who is just branching out into the historical fiction genre of reading, away from all those vampires and pirates, it is a well written and pleasing book overall. Yes it is well written, which to me is all i want to hear in a review! :) The characters, especially James, the lawyer, I found were well developed. Though when it came to James, I almost thought that his kind-hearted favours were too good to be true, and a dramatic twist at the end would bring Grace, and her sister Lily\'s downfall. Though thankfully that did not happen :) The ending was in fact lovely, and you shared the emotions of the sisters as they found their fate. The plot was well thought though, I believe, and after previously reading \"The Betrayal\" also written by Mary Hooper, I found this to be of the same style. It isn\\\'t a tedious book, nor does it offer no excitement. It falls in the middle of the spectrum as being a nice light read if this genre appeals to you!show more
by Fionnuala O\'Hare
Grace and her older sister Lily lost their mother at a young age, before that they had lost their father. Alone in the world the girls had been sent to an orphanage and when older to a workhouse, but now they were living on their own making what they could selling watercress in one of the poorest areas in London. It had always been Grace's responsibility to look after Lily, who now almost seventeen was still as unable to care for herself as she was when a child. Grace and Lily had left the workhouse and all it's horrors behind them, or so they had thought until Grace could no longer deny what was to be the outcome of her short stay there. And so, grieved and emotional, Grace found herself at Brookwood Cemetery with two business cards placed into her hands. When the worst came to worst and Grace and Lily were forced from their home, Grace determined not to see her sister or herself resorting to living in the streets. She tried unsuccessfully to contact Mr Solent, the man who had given her the first business card. When that had failed she reluctantly took up the second black edged business card. She had been offered a job once, working for a funeral business. It was not a position Grace was comfortable with but the Unwin family had agreed to take in Lily also, and although the sisters were to be separated Grace was only pleased they would both have food, clothing and shelter for the quickly approaching winter. However unbeknownst to Grace, the Unwin's had motives of their own for taking in the young girls. Fallen Grace is a historical novel depicting life in London for both the poor and the wealthy, discriminating against neither as a poor beggar on the streets could be as much a thief as the wealthy in their posh houses, or worse. Amongst death, grief and greed Grace shines as a strong and vulnerable character able to tell a story that is fast paced, well thought out and all her own. A story full of deceptive actions, heartbreaking decisions and, if she's lucky, happy endings.show more
by Larissa McGrath
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