Title: Fallen Grace
Author: Mary Hooper
Published: 6th September 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Genre: Romance, Drama
Rating: **** (4/5 Stars)
About: 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.
Review: This is an incredibly heart-warming piece. It’s a rag to riches tale, that just flows very nicely.
I think I would have given this book 5 stars if I had read it when I was younger. However, I did still enjoy now even if I am older than the target audience, but I feel like because of this I can appreciate it for other things. Such as how much effort had gone into creating it and how much Mary Hooper had put into writing this story. The history is there, the interest is there and the storyline is a good one.
The main character, Grace, can be seen as the female version of Oliver Twist. She is a poor person, who is hard working at everything that she does and always tries her best. She suffers abuse, poverty, and hardship but lacks any sickly sanctimoniousness. I think that because of this, the main reason that I liked her as a character was because of her love for her sister, Lily.
There is so much to be learned from this book, although it never feels like a history lesson. There are the differences in social classes, the mistreated use of poor people, the problems with how charitable actions were received (such as the double standards), and many, many other problems from that time which are addressed in this book.
All in all,though, I did really love the attention to detail in this book. The characters are believable, the setting descriptions was very imaginable and the story had a good ending.
I could almost see the book playing out as one of those Sunday evening TV drama adaptations as I read.
Mary Hooper does the Victorian Era proud. She is able to bring it forward to modern times so that many people can enjoy it. It is very easy to read and perfect for when you have an afternoon off.
The twists and turns that this book take are very cleverly done and it was an absolute thrill to read.