1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Gripping read with a great heroine!
, 25 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Fallen Grace (Paperback)
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I loved this young adult read, and will definitely be looking out for more books by Mary Hooper. Set in 1861 and featuring young Grace, and her sister Lily, who Grace looks after, as despite being the younger of the two in age, Grace is more worldly-wise than the sweet but more naÔve Lily. Forced through circumstances which are revealed in the novel to leave the orphanage where they had future plans, they now live in poverty and scratch out a meagre amount of money buying and selling watercress, though the proceeds of this barely keeps them in food and rent. At the start of the novel, we meet poor Grace as she is in the process of carrying out a tragic act, and at her destination she meets two people who will come to play very different but equally influential roles in her life, Mr Solent and Mrs Unwin.
It's a cracking story, an exciting plot, with cruel villains, a very likeable heroine and some amiable kindly folk too. The atmosphere and period setting is evoked beautifully, there's even a mention for a certain Mr Dickens and for Prince Albert. I felt I was transported back to Victorian times as I was reading. I was rooting for kind, hard-working Grace, hoping that her fortunes would change and that justice would be done. The descriptions of the fascination with mourning, and the elaborate graveyard decorations of the period are very vivid. I loved discovering the Necropolis railway and Brookwood cemetery, all very dark and mysterious. A fabulous and highly recommended read.
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