Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
Released: February 1, 2011
Summary: Grace is only fifteen, but already her life is in shambles. She’s been raped, her subsequent baby perished, and she must look after an older sister who isn’t quite right in the head. To make things worse, Grace and her sister have just been forced out of their home, and being orphans, they have nowhere to go. They find themselves working at a morgue to make ends meet, and quickly wind up in the midst of a con bigger than they could ever imagine.
My thoughts: Fallen Grace is a beautifully written historical novel. It is rich, well developed, and completely immersing. I haven’t read any of Mary Hooper’s other books, but if they are as well-researched and gorgeous as Fallen Grace, I’ll have to give them a read.
Mary Hooper expertly captures the late 1800’s woman in both Grace and Lily, her sister. They have delicate sensibilities, but are firm in their beliefs and strong for their time. I enjoyed how Grace was so responsible for a fifteen year old—I never would have been able to survive in her shoes. Lily, despite being “simple”, is not too easily taken advantage of, and holds her own as an interesting sub-character.
Fallen Grace’s story reminded me a bit of Oliver Twist, what with Grace and Lily being poor orphans who end up working at a morgue and are eventually taken advantage of without their knowledge. However, I felt that Fallen Grace focused more on a girl’s perspective and journey, so it was unique enough to hold my interest. The sad situation Grace and Lily came from was quite shocking, and I couldn’t help rooting for them to overcome their obstacles.
I’d recommend Fallen Grace to any fan of historical fiction; it takes a good look at the gritty side of the late 1800’s, and really puts things in perspective. I definitely enjoyed reading about the trials and triumphs of Grace and her sister.
At the moment I am thinking about what to read next, do you have any ideas, guys? If yes, let me know in the comments below where you’re welcome to leave your opinion as well.
Don’t hesitate to share your opinion in the comments below! I’d gladly discuss this book with you personally. See you soon!