Friday, 11 June 2010

Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper

Title: Fallen Grace
Author: Mary Hooper
Published by: Bloomsbury
Publication date: 7th July 2010
Pages: 320
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

"You must go to Brookwood."
"What's that?"
"It's like a wonderful garden, with trees and flowers and statues. When you think about your poor child, you'll be able to imagine him there with beautiful stone angels watching over him."
The train roared, shook and swayed as it rounded a corner, and Grace grasped the window frame and waited until it straightened on its course. Then she pushed open the door to the van containing the coffins and went in...
London 1861. Grace Parkes, a pale but determined figure, clutches a precious bundle closely to her as she travels on the train to the famed Brookwood Cemetery. Grace has a heartbreaking duty to carry out.
Each day Grace must find a new way of earning enough money to pay the rent for the bleak, cold room that she and her sister live in, and to buy them enough - just - to eat. But there is a different danger threatening Grace, a danger linked to an event in her past that she is desperate to forget. Grace has caught the eye of the Unwins, an unscrupulous family whose shady business dealings are those of death and mourning, and who will stop at nothing to defraud two young women of what is rightfully theirs...

When I first picked up this book and read the blurb, I really wasn't sure I would like this, but I was so wrong! It was really good! (Don't you love it when that happens?!)

You are instantly gripped from the first page - you wonder why Grace is at a train station, where is she going? This is actually a very sad, heartbreaking, emotional novel and was extremely sad and scary in some places. I felt really sorry for Grace and her sister, Lily; the author did a great job of writing the emotions.

My favourite character was Lily. She was funny and some of the questions she asked made me laugh, although I did feel sorry for her sometimes. Grace looks after her like a mother, even though Lily is a year older than Grace at 17 years old. I actually thought Lily was about 10 when I first started reading the book - apparently, she is "simple-minded" and when their Mother died Grace's Mother told her to look after Lily.

I love the cover! I wouldn't change a thing. I love the way that Grace's hair stands out against the dark background, and I like the way that you can't see her face. It adds to the whole mysterious, murder story that lives between the covers.

There is another twist to this novel. A woman called Mrs Robinson, her husband, and their new-born baby. Sounds ordinary, right? We find out more about them at the end of the book - it's really surprising, actually, I didn't expect what happened!

Overall this book is amazing, I didn't find any faults with it. I would recommend this novel for ages 12+ because some bits were very upsetting and scary, and not really suitable for anyone younger.

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