Welcome everyone :) Things may be a little slow at the moment as I am in my last few months of school so I am swamped with work and exams but if you had time to leave a comment it would make my day!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Review: Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper

     Fallen Grace

Title: Fallen Grace
Author: Mary Hooper
Series: Standalone
Pages: 307
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: February 1st 2011
Source: For review
Rating: 4 stars

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 affect 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. 

Fallen Grace is a beautifully written novel filled with history, mystery and family. It is my first historical fiction novel and I must say, I really enjoyed it.

The story starts with Grace having given birth and her travelling to a cemetery to bury her stillborn baby. The tone of the novel is set immediately and I automatically felt sympathy for her. The life she and her sister live, selling watercress on the streets, selling their mother's possessions; it was heartbreaking.

Grace was an incredibly strong protagonist. Despite the poverty in which she lived, she was incredibly graceful and elegant. She never acted entitled and her first thought was always for her sister Lily. Grace is like a mother to Lily, putting Lily's needs before her own. She is a mother, sister and provider all in one.

The plot goes in many different directions, a lot of them being surprising to me. The progression of the plot caught me by surprise and it was totally unpredictable. The ending was unexpected and I love it when that happens.

Fallen Grace is a book containing a lot of tragedy but at the same time it contains so much hope. The love Grace has for sister and the strength she possesses definitely reminded me what was important, especially when the world around you in treating you poorly. A nice introduction for those who haven't tried historical fiction and an enjoyable read for those that have.


  1. Hello Alice,

    Thank you for the lovely review of FALLEN GRACE. I had great fun writing it - all that spooky research! You can actually take a tour around Brookwood Cemetery tracing the route of the Necropolis train.
    Many thanks once again and Happy Christmas from Mary Hooper x

  2. Historical fiction isn't always my cup of tea but this one sounds really good - like, REALLY good! I also love her hair color!!

    Xpresso Reads

  3. Here's another one that I've been putting off reading, it sounds really good though and I'm excited all over again to read it after this review.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...