Release Date: February 1, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Publisher
Life has been nothing but unfair to Grace Parkes and her sister. Penniless, the two orphans manage to stay alive—but only barely, like so many on the streets of Victorian London. And Grace must bear a greater heartbreak, having become pregnant from terrible circumstances and then given birth to a stillborn baby. But the infant’s death sets Grace on a new path, bringing her into contact with people who hold both riches and power. A great fraud has been perpetrated on young Grace and her sister, and they are the secret recipients of a most unusual legacy—if only they can find the means to claim it. Mary Hooper’s latest offers Dickensian social commentary, as well as malicious fraud, mysterious secrets, and a riveting read.
It has been a long time since I read a historical, but I can’t think of a better book than Fallen Grace to get me back into it. This book has a story line that is very much immersed in death and grief, but it still manages to be delightful! Grace and Lily Parkes do okay for themselves. They have a roof over their heads and shoes on their feet. They make do with the money they earn from selling watercress on the streets, but that money is not steady and when they fall on hard times Grace must go to work as a mute in the booming funeral business. What Grace and Lily don’t know is that they are the sole heirs to a great legacy. Will they find out before someone else claims it?
I was enchanted by Fallen Grace from page one. The story is told in third person, which I’m not always a fan of, but Mary Hooper has a talent for it. All the historical facts about Victorian era London and especially the funeral industry were fantastic. I knew about mourning clothes and all of that, but I did not know about mutes and all the other outlandish goings on of the funeral business.
All the characters in the book brought something to the story. Grace was level-headed and she managed to be strong in the face of so many hardships. Lily was the reason for being strong and added a protective, child-like innocent feeling to the story. The Unwin’s were incredibly done villains. I hated them! Especially Sly!
Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper is beautifully written and will hold your attention until the very end. Its impossible to not want to know how these puzzle pieces fit together. Fraud, suspense and adventure come together to make this an addicting read!