7.6.10

Book Review: Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper


London, 1861. Grace Parkes, a pale but determined figure, clutches a precious bundle closely to her as she travels on the train to the famed Blackwood Cemetery. Grace has a heartbreaking duty to carry out.
Each day Grace must find a new way of earning enough money to pay the rent for the bleak, cold room that she and her sister live in, and to buy them enough-just-to-eat.
But there is a different danger threatening Grace, a danger linked to an event in her past that she is desperate to forget. Grace has caught the eye of the Unwins, an unscrupulous family whose shady business dealings are those of death and mourning, and who will stop at nothing to defraud two young women of what is rightfully theirs...

I found the story created by Mary Hooper in Fallen Grace to be completely mesmerising. We are drawn into Grace's life immediately and we follow her as she encounters one obstacle after another.
Death was a large feature of Victorian England and Mary Hooper explored so many different aspects of this fascinating subject. All of the characters and events in Grace's life are linked to death in some way. She meets both her biggest enemy and her most loyal ally at Brookwood Cemetery. Mourning was such a prominent part of Victorian life, especially when Prince Albert died which is an event included in this story.
The Unwins are a brilliant creation, there is something deliciously sinister about them. Their business is to make as much money as possible out of someones death. Whilst presenting themselves as respectable undertakers, their business dealings are extremely devious and devoid of morals.
I think that Grace's character embodied what it must have been like to have been one of the Victorian poor. Grace is placed in so many desperate situations in order to provide enough for her and her sister Lily, however, she remains dignified throughout.
I don't want to give anything away about the plot in this review as it would spoil the book for others. It is extremely good though and the author has you on the edge of your seat on several occasions in the book.
If you like historical fiction then I would definitely give this one a go. I read it in one sitting and I am looking forward to catching up with some of Mary Hooper's previous books.

Many thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy to review, the book is published today.

8 comments:

Book Chick City said...

This sounds really interesting and I'm just getting into historical fiction, so I'm off to check this one out :)

Dot said...

Book Chick City- Great, hope that you enjoy it!

This Miss Loves to Read said...

This sounds amazing! Great review. I'm so putting the novel on my TBR list.

Dot said...

This Miss Loves to Read- Thank you, hope that you enjoy it!

Hannah Stoneham said...

Sounds great - really atmospheric and I love books that manage a proper sense of history - thanks for the recommendation I will look out for this - it sounds right up my street.

Happy Monday

Hannah

Dot said...

Hannah- Thank you, it was extrememly well researched and had a brilliant plot.

Talli Roland said...

This sounds like a great read. I love the cover!

Dot said...

Talli- I really liked the cover too, it was a great story.

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