Grace Hammer

Grace Hammer : A Novel of the Victorian Underworld

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Whitechapel, 1888. Grace Hammer and her children live comfortably in Bell Lane, their home a little oasis in the squalor of London's East End. They make their living picking the pockets of wealthy strangers foolish enough to venture there. But Grace's history is about to catch up with her. Out in the countryside Mr. Blunt rocks in his chair, vowing furious retribution. He has never forgotten his scarlet treasure, or the coquettish young woman who stole it from him. Fast-paced, racy, and reminiscent of Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist, Grace Hammer depicts nineteenth-century London amid corruption and a plague of poverty, peopled by orphans, harlots, and petty thieves. Sara Stockbridge introduces an unlikely heroine in Grace Hammer, a captivating young matriarch in a complicated web of intrigue, deceit, loyalties, and more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 147.32 x 210.82 x 33.02mm | 340.19g
  • WW Norton & Co
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0393067181
  • 9780393067187
  • 1,600,695

Review quote

Starred Review. This first novel reads like early Dickens, with every character name aptly fitting its owner, and each scene piquantly described: Grace s sons line up at the door 'like a row of sparrows on a chimneystack, ' and lovers are like 'mice in a newspaper hat, afloat on their own private sea.' Then there is the unforgettable Miss Spragg, who steals little children and fondles a severed ear tucked in her pocket.... Stockbridge captures the mood of Dickensian London perfectly in this gripping debut. --Jen Bakershow more

Back cover copy

An enjoyable romp through nineteenth-century Whitechapel in the company of the beautiful Grace Hammer. Vogue Grace wakes, eyes wide. . . . Someone cries, Thief! in the distance. . . . Out in the dark countryside, in his gloomy farmhouse, Mr. Blunt sits upright in his oily bed, jabbering and growling in the dark. It haunts him tonight in his sleep, as it does maybe once a year now calling, as bright as it ever was! leading him on, like the Pole Star twinkling through a veil of cloud, only to dissolve again, and he clenches his brutal fists, and blasts the sleeping birds from the trees. Damn you, Hammer, damn you! Sometimes he dreams, with pleasure, of slicing her throat. from Grace Hammer"show more

About Sara Stockbridge

Sara Stockbridge is a writer and actress who became known in the 1980s as the muse of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. She lives with her daughter in more