Skip to main content

Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper

Grace Parkes has just had to do a terrible thing. Having given birth to an illegitimate child, she has traveled 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. 

First line:
"Grace, holding on tightly to her precious burden, found the station entrance without much difficulty."

The good, the bad and the ugly of Victorian London. Poor Grace and her sister Lily are in the gutter of this city. The girls are orphans and rely on Grace to keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs.
Grace meets James Solent and Mrs. Emmeline Unwin at a cemetery while taking care of a personal tragedy. Solent and Unwin are opposite ends of the spectrum of humanity.
I was tense from almost the first page of this book! I connected with the characters, enjoyed the scenery and enjoyed the plot.
Some things I liked:
A newspaper clipping or epitaph or invitation introduced each chapter.
People hired funeral muses??
I learned a ton about funerals in Victorian England.
Grace is amazing and strong and scared.
Learning about history without knowing I was learning.
Charles Dickens has a cameo.
James is quite the gentleman.

Rating: PG 13
L: None
V: bad people
S: None
(We know Grace has been raped but the story around the story is done sensitively)

5 STARS

25% test (p. 74):
"...she hurried to change the subject. 'Forgive me, my dear, but how long ago did your poor mother die?'
'Near ten years back,' Grace answered.
'were there no other relatives who would take you in? What about your father?'
Grace shook her head. 'I've never known much about my father or his family,' she said. 'When Mama and he were married neither family approved of the match, and two years after that, when Lily was a year old and before Mama even knew she was expecting me, Papa went off to the Americas to seek his fortune.'
'Your poor mother! To be left without a protector!'
Grace nodded. 'She brought us up on a little inheritance she'd had from her grandparents and taught me to read and write quite early, hoping that one day I'd make a good marriage and be able to keep Lily as my companion.' She smiled wryly as she spoke, knowing that good marriages were not made in Seven Dials, and that the most a girl here might hope for would be to marry a coster with his own barrow. 'I started my training as a teacher and Lily was to learn about domestic duties, but then we had to leave...' Here Grace stopped and found it impossible to continue.
'And when was this?'
'Some...some nine months ago.'
'Nine months,' Mrs Beale repeated, and if she made the obvious connection was refined enough not to say anything about it. 'And you never heard from your father again?'

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Savvy Saving by Melissa Jennings & Shelley King

Working to stretch your budget? With their expert coupon strategies, menu planning, and other household management skills, Stockpiling Moms are the answer! Straight from their award winning blog to your hands and home, they've compiled their best loved tips and tricks just for you. They know what it takes to live a frugal lifestyle within a budget, and now you can too!

Great book with lots of resources, websites, tips, ideas and secrets for couponing, food storage and stretching your budget.
This is a good book for starting off the new year and keeping your goals of doing better financially or getting your food storage stocked. While I'm not into major couponing I have found using them has helped me save $$, especially now that stores are doing double coupons. 
I use a weekly menu service that prints out my recipes and shopping list. I save a lot of time and money doing this.
These ladies have a blog that's worth reading also: stockpilingmoms.com.
The book was easy to re…

DAUGHTER OF ISHMAEL by Diane Tolley BLOG TOUR and SPOTLIGHT!

I'm spotlighting Diane Tolley's book Daughter of Ishmael!
(Isn't the cover pretty??)


Hannah, faithful third daughter of Ishmael has been raised happily in the home of an honourable man. A woman wholly committed to her Saviour. A woman who understands Nephi’s love of the scriptures and commitment to the gospel and secretly longs for such a husband, but finds herself given in marriage to his older brother, Lemuel.
Through the women’s eyes, Daughter of Ishmael follows the family of Ishmael as they commit themselves to Lehi and find their faith tested in the wilderness. Recounts their struggles there with deaths, births and apostasy. Tells of their time in Bountiful and the building of a ship. And their suffering below decks on the Great Irriantum when Laman and Hannah’s husband, Lemuel battle the Lord Himself in their drive to defeat Nephi and take control of the family.
Even their arrival in the Promised Land isn’t without its challenges as they settle. Pride, envy and greed are…

Choose the Right by Kimiko Christensen Hammari

Crazy days mean no time to plan family nights. With Choose the Right, all your Family Home Evening lessons are done for a whole year, complete with activities, games, scriptures, songs, challenges, and a CD-Rom with printable handouts! Not only are the lessons fantastic but they correlate with the 2012 Primary topics and lessons. Spend quality time with your children as you make family night the best night!

Great Family Home Evening help! 
The lessons are easy to understand and teach. 
The activities are tied well to the lessons.
A challenge at the end of each lesson helps the family really learn what the lesson taught.
Perfect for children and teaching how to Choose the Right. 
My kids love to teach FHE lessons so this is a great asset for my family.