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Fallen Grace [Kindle Edition]

Mary Hooper
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
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Book 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 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.

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Product Description


`Compelling Victorian historical drama'
--The Childrens Bookseller


'If the beach reading season has you craving a novel with bold characters and a zippy pace, consider this slice of young adult Victoriana' 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 'A sensitive and tautly-plotted novel, intelligently told' Daily Mail 'By any standards, an exceptional novel ... the gift for taking historical situations and making them emotionally engaging is far too rare ... after six historical novels, 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 Times

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 778 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens (6 Sept. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043D2BHK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #229,378 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mary Hooper has been writing books for nearly thirty years. And before that she was writing short stories. Her early books about a pregnant teenager: MEGAN, are still very popular, one teacher calling the three books a "rite of passage".

Over the last five or so years she has been writing nothing but historical fiction, mostly for young adults, although NEWES FROM THE DEAD was actually written for an adult audience. This book has won several awards, including both the Hull and the Stockport Book Awards. The historian and novelist Alison Weir said that NEWES was "Stunning!" There are even plans to turn it into a musical, though if you know the content of the book you'll conclude that it would be a very unusual one.

Mary's book set in a Victorian undertaker's is called FALLEN GRACE and comes out in the UK in June 2010 and in the US a little later. Lucy Mangan, Guardian columnist, called it "Bloody Marvellous!" Her latest book is called VELVET and is about a 19th century medium. THE DISGRACE OF KITTY GREY is Mary's first Regency novel and will be published in May 2013.

Mary has a fan page on Facebook and her own website.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fallen Grace 5 Jun. 2010
By Vicki @ Cosy Books VINE VOICE
Fallen Grace is a rags to riches tale of the very best kind and filled with the characters that make this kind of book so compelling. There is tragic Grace, poor and badly treat yet hard working, kind and fiercely loyal; the detestable Unwin family, rich, cruel and conniving and the handsome young solicitor Mr James Solent, champion of the underdog. It reminds me of those saga's I would steal from my Mum's bookshelves. I did love reading those books but often found them too long, spanning such a lengthy time period I would get bored or frustrated at yet another tragedy for the poor heroine. Covering just a year in Fifteen year old Grace's life, Mary Hooper's latest book doesn't suffer this problem. It has everything needed for a deliciously juicy saga, but the story is contained and my attention was captured throughout the 300 pages.

I loved our heroine, Grace. She is tragic enough to gain sympathy but strong enough not to become pitying. Orphaned young and left to take care of her disabled older sister, despite the awful situation she finds herself in she remains loyal and loving. Her sister Lily is adorable, a young child in the body of a young woman her simplistic naivety at the world is touching, although of course in the surrounding London slums, dangerous and extremely trying too. The other characters in the book are also extremely vivid, no matter how small their part and all of them were brought to life in my mind. I could almost see the book playing out as one of those Sunday evening TV drama adaptations as I read.

The setting of the book is described with such detail that while reading I felt transported to 19th century England.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Fiction 22 Jun. 2010
By Dot
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of Grace 9 Oct. 2011
By Sally Zigmond VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If this novel had been around when I was at the right age to read it I am sure it would been adored it, in the same way I avidly read and reread A Little Princess until my copy fell to pieces and helped develop my taste in Victorian literature.

Now I am (much) older I enjoyed reading it--but in a different way. I can appreciate everything that has gone into creating it and just what an accomplished young adult novelist Mary Hooper is. She has taken all the elements of Victorian literature: (especially the novels of Charles Dickens who even makes a cameo appearance) the exposure of hypocrisy and social ills and the huge gulf between rich and poor and remodelled them afresh for the young twenty-first century reader.

In doing so, she has created a heart-warming rags-to-riches story that will appeal to today's young readers. Grace, like Oliver Twist, suffers abuse, poverty and hardship but lacks any sickly sanctimoniousness which often marred Victorian fiction so that it no longer appeals to us. It is a master-stroke to give her Lily as a sister for it it is her love for her that wins our admiration.

And throughout the novel, young readers will learn a wealth of information about class differences, the Victorian attitude to death; the traps that await the unwary, the iniquities of baby-farming, the double-standards that prevailed in the name of Christian charity and just how vulnerable poor children were then. (The Unwins are a gloriously creepy family well worthy of Dickens!) However, the novel never feels like a history lesson. The author creates exactly the right balance.

Some reviewers have complained about the sensationalism of the plot; the chase through the London smog, documents hidden in coffins, people dropping dead of fright.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 5 months ago by Evelyn Stephens
5.0 out of 5 stars Charles Dickens for girls!
This book had me hooked! I loved the characters and twists in the plot. The way the atmosphere of Victorian London was created was awesome and there was loads of amazing history... Read more
Published 8 months ago by anniebonnie98
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
I really enjoyed this book. The author has a lovely style of writing and keeps the reader's interest throughout. A highly recommended read!
Published 15 months ago by Sandra Rimmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Couldn't put the book down! Had some sad moments but then there is a happy twist that leads to a great ending. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Lily Barker
5.0 out of 5 stars Fallen Grace
Fallen Grace is the story of Grace Parkes, a young woman living in the harsh Victorian London. Orphaned and living with her disabled older sister, everyday Grace must sell... Read more
Published on 27 May 2013 by The Book Worm No 1
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
My daughter had an English reading list from school which included titles by Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen and also more modern authors writing stories set in Victorian Times. Read more
Published on 16 Mar. 2013 by LOL
4.0 out of 5 stars Review: Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
What's Good About It

I picked this up after seeing a friend rave on her blog. It's not the sort of novel I usually reach for. Read more
Published on 31 Jan. 2013 by Liberty Gilmore
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it too
This young adult novel has now had so many reviews it's impossible to say anything new and fresh about it. Read more
Published on 26 Jan. 2013 by Welsh Annie
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable
I started reading this as soon as I had put down Velvet by Mary Hooper. Like Velvet, Fallen Grace was immediately accessible. Grace was yet another fantastic character. Read more
Published on 23 Jan. 2013 by sardoc
4.0 out of 5 stars My Reveiw of Fallen Grace
I a am ten-year old girl and I thought it would be a good idea to write a review on this book because I noticed that most of the reviews on this book are by adults. Read more
Published on 6 Dec. 2012 by Cara Pilbeam
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