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A captivating read.,
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This review is from: Fallen Grace (Hardcover)
The tale of Grace and Lily, lost to their family and to the fortune that should be theirs, is a captivating and engaging tale. The atmosphere of poverty and desperation of two girls struggling to survive alone in Dickensian London is beautifully captured by Mary Hooper.
The story is unusual and fascinating right from the first page as we meet a distressed young Grace trying to bury her still-born child decently. From there we are led step by weary step through the life-and-death struggle of the two sisters to survive in a hostile world.
Fallen Grace is, in my opinion, by far Mary Hooper's best historical work to date. Her research is always meticulous and the writing always charming and accessible, but this novel has a depth and texture that is new. The many threads in the story make it a satisfying and compelling read, and the portrayal of the rogue undertaker and his ability to fleece his grieving customers of their money is a dark delight.
There is some sexual content - mainly alluded to rather than described - to explain Grace's pregnancy. But unlike Newes from the Dead, which although also a fantastic read, was not suitable for younger or sensitive readers, this one could well be enjoyed by girls from 11 or 12 years. A fantastic read and very deserving of the Booktrust and Carnegie nominations it has received.