Sunday, 30 January 2011

Book Review: Fallen Grace-Mary Hooper

Fallen GraceAbout: Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper is a YA historical novel. It was published in 2010 by Bloomsbury. It is astand-alone novel, but Hooper has also written other historical novels such as At the Sign of the Sugar Plum and Newes from the Dead, and contemporary novels such as Megan.
Plot: Grace Parkes is a fallen woman-she has given birth to a child without being married, and must now lay him to rest. After placing the body in someone else's coffin to be buried, Grace and her sister are thrown out of their home by no fault of their own. They must now find ways to scrape by day by day. Enter the Unwins, a family dealing in death and mourning, who will do pretty much anything to cheat two young women out of what they rightfully own.
Opinions: I found this a bit more enjoyable than Hooper's other books. not sure why, maybe because of the darker inclination of the whole story. I like how the slight romance between Grace and a young lawer doesnt go so far as to distract from the main story. I like the highs and lows of Grace's life highlighting how varied a poor victorian girl's life can be. I think Grace is well characterised as a young determined woman. I like the historical accuracy- correct to almost every last detail, with the author's notes at the end explaining everything. The Victorian style calling cards, epitahs, newspaper clippings and so on heading every chapter are the beautiful final touches.
In short
PlotA young girl trying to scrape by- and not let her past catch up with her.
CharactersEveryone is well characterised, from the main character to the boy who only appears in one page.
ActionA harsh look at how bad life could be in victorian times.
WarningsReferences to rape, focuses on death
WritingBeautiful descriptions in particular, but beautiful throughout
OverallFor anyone even remotely interested in death, victorians or rags to riches. A brilliant read.


  1. Interesting review! I love how thorough and organized your thoughts are. I might have to check this one out. I am rather fond of historical fiction, and I am very interested in death and victorians :)

  2. I've got this book on my tbr pile. Hopefully I'll get to it soon. Thanks for sharing.


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