Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books on February 1st 2011
Life has been nothing but unfair to Grace Parkes and her sister. Penniless, the two orphans manage to stay alive—but only barely, like so many on the streets of Victorian London. And Grace must bear a greater heartbreak, having become pregnant from terrible circumstances and then given birth to a stillborn baby. But the infant's death sets Grace on a new path, bringing her into contact with people who hold both riches and power. A great fraud has been perpetrated on young Grace and her sister, and they are the secret recipients of a most unusual legacy—if only they can find the means to claim it. Mary Hooper's latest offers Dickensian social commentary, as well as malicious fraud, mysterious secrets, and a riveting read.
Fallen Grace revolves around Grace and her younger sister Lily. The sisters, having lost their mother at a young age and no father to speak of, must fend for themselves in the harsh world of Victorian London. But not all is as bad as it seems. With not one but two different people in the wings offering to save the girls, surely Grace and Lily will find their happily ever afters, right?
The novel is full of twists and turns. And Hooper does a magnificent job of unfolding details slowly, but not too slowly so that you lose interest. The characters were absolutely what I was looking for. Grace is not perfect, but you love her anyway. And to top everything off, I had a deep connection with all the trials and tribulations that they go through. You cannot help but to root for her and Lily.
Fallen Grace is everything that I love about a historical YA novel. Beautiful writing. Complex characters. And a setting that is simply breathtaking. Truth be told, I am usually a little hesitant to read historical novels by authors I have never read before. Well, historical novels in general really. They tend to either fall into one of two categories: "oh my goodness" great… or a little on the slow and dry side. Lucky for me, Fallen Grace fit easily into the "oh my goodness" great category. Hooper creates a beautiful story with complex characters and a world that is simply fascinating. Definitely recommend.