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Newes from the Dead Hardcover – 3 Apr 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bodley Head; First Edition, First Impression edition (3 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0370329481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0370329482
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,175,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

Review

Another fantastic historical novel from Hooper - I couldn't put it down
-- Publishing News, April 2008

It's a gruesome tale but Hooper handles the subject matter brilliantly and I couldn't put the book down. -- The Bookseller, January 18, 2008

Book Description

An incredible true story of courage and deliverance that will haunt its readers.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Brida TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
NEWES FROM THE DEAD tells the true story of Anne Green; a young girl who was hanged in 1650 for anfanticide but survived the gallows. The book shifts from the dissection room, where Anne is lying ready to be dissected in order for medical advancement, back to before her grisly fate as a way of explaining how a lowly servant girl came to be found guilty of the murder of a baby. The main thrust of the story is true - of course, as Hooper herself explains, she has used her imagination for all of the conversations and trivia - and what a story it is!
By giving Anne a 'voice', Hooper has succeeded in creating a touching yet starkly shocking tale about miscarriages of justice centuries ago. Despite the time that has passed, the horror of the story remains, as you try and put yourself into this poor girl's shoes. I found both the chapters which are narrated by Anne and the chapters which take place in the dissection room to be filled with humanity and honesty. As the gathered scholars and medics realise that there seems to be life within the cadaver infront of them, you cannot help but share in their horror, as they begin to contmeplate if she is alive, what does that mean for her soul? If she had been dead, would her soul have departed? And if she is to awake, will the lack of a soul mean she will be but a wraith? Such ponderings as this still have relevance today - although we are more medically advanced, the very nature of the soul means that we are no more closer to understanding that etheral part of what it is to be human.

This is a fantastic book. Just because it is meant for young adult readers, do not let that put you off. One of the best reads I have read for a long time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bess_Wheat VINE VOICE on 18 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
I had intended to purchase Mary Hooper's At the Sign of the Sugared Plum after a recommendation in the Waterstone's free 'Read Through the Ages' leaflet. However, this book caught my eye instead and I became intrigued to discover how a girl had been hanged and yet survived to tell the tale.

Hooper takes the reader back to 1650 when a young girl was hanged for infanticide, the only crime where the suspect was considered guilty until proven innocent. With no witnesses to support her, Anne Green is accused, tried and hanged with no hope of rescue. Her body is then taken for dissection by the College of Physicians.

It is very easy to sympathise with the downfall of young innocent Anne and feel enraged at her cruel treatment at the hands of the rich and powerful. The tale is cleverly told through flashbacks which enlighten the reader as to the chain of events that led her to the Physician's dissection table.

At the end of the book, Hooper discusses her inspiration and research for the book which is interesting to note. This book is definitely not suited to very young readers as it deals with adult themes. However, the way Hooper writes about the thoughts of Anne make it easy for the reader to sympathise with her and understand how easy it can be to get into trouble as a result of human desires.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scriber_scouse VINE VOICE on 4 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Newes from the Dead seemed like it had the ingredients for a good read but unfortunately comes out a little wanting. A young maidservant is hanged for the crime of infanticide and sent to the gallows, but the story doesn't really begin until her body is sent for medical dissection and she is found to be alive.

The plot has definite potential and is told from two viewpoints that of the maidservant rising towards consciousness and her past in flashback and from the viewpoint of a young male scholar with a terrible stutter whose vantage point allows us to see the commotion that this rising from the dead has caused.

The historical details read accurately and engage the reader but a major problem with the novel is that the author spoon feeds the plot to you; the reader perpetually feels three steps ahead of the story. Even though this is written with a younger audience in mind it lacks sophistication or even surprise in terms of both character and plotting when it comes to the maidservants narrative. The reader sees her downfall as she follows the predictable pattern of believing the young master of the house's lies as he seduces her, falls pregnant and is charged to be hanged all to keep the master's reputation intact.

Arguably the only surprise that the novel raises is when the maidservant comes back from the dead and even this is handled in a very wishy-washy fashion allowing no conclusions to be drawn. It's a pity as in the young scholar's narrative there is real meat but he is soon left by the wayside when the dead maidservant wakes. Add a tacked on happy ever after ending and this is defnitely YA that fails to satiate or satisfy, read Libba Bray instead.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alison Weir on 24 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a stunning historical novel with the period beautifully evoked. It`s a chilling tale that engages from the first page - I read it at one sitting. I can`t praise it highly enough. However, I was surprised to find it recommended in one review for anyone over the age of eleven - be warned, this is for young and other adults only.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Karen Gregory on 29 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a reader with a historical interest and a love for the Mary Hooper books, I was immediately drawn to this novel. I was shocked at how different it was to the other books. It has a slightly more adult content so I wouldn't reccomend it to young people like I would for some other Mary Hooper books. It is extremely well written however and impossible to put down from the start to the end- I'd got through it by the end of the day.

The story tells a worryingly true tale of a gullible house maid tricked into a terrible situation by her cruel master.
Every other chapter is in first person, where the unfortunate Anne Green explains her story and tries to think how she got into this position. This is an absolute favorite of mine.
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