Review: Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper

Young Adult
Hardcover, 320 pgs
Published Feb. 1st, 2011 by Bloomsbury
Source: Borrowed

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. 

The description of this book is actually quite good so I’m not going to do any recap {I guess I usually don’t anyway…}.  I love a good historical fiction and I’m finding I really enjoy the young adult ones the most because they are lighter reads {time wise anyway}.  And I really enjoyed this one!

The author does a brilliant job on the descriptions of everything.  I was able to really feel, see and experience London.  That’s what I love in a good HF, you can really feel like you’re experiencing history.  This is a compelling story though and is done very well!

I really loved Grace and felt for her for everything she had to go through.  She was fairly trusting but yet she was still cautious.  She was very caring about others and you could really see her kindness show through.  But she has to suffer through one thing after another and I was amazed at how she kept her head up and trudged on doing what had to be done to survive.  

While there are lots of horrible things that happen in the book I never really felt like it was terribly depressing.  And I cruised through the book very quickly because I was so eager to figure out the mystery {lots of clues are laid out so it’s easy to guess but I really wanted to know it ALL} and see that everything turned out okay.  Plus I wanted to watch the bad guys fall {like, for REAL}.  So it really took no time at all to read this book.  

If you enjoy historical fiction I definitely recommend you pick this one up!  Brilliant writing, fantastic characters and a compelling story!

4/5 stars

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  1. I’m very familiar with that feeling. The wanting to see the ‘bad man’ get his due. I’m not much of a historical fiction reader, but this one does sound pretty good.

  2. OMG I hated those bad guys. They were fantastically done villains. I agree with you completely, the book is brilliant and I really want to read more by Hooper.

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