Author: Mary Hooper
Published: June 2011
Yey! Another red headed character to adorn a cover!! Other than that I like the font used for the title ;)
Grace and her sister Lily struggle in dire poverty. Lily is a simple child and both her and Grace are subject to the stigma and burden of their class. They both scrape by, but not without loss of childhood/womanhood. Fate brings them a seemingly helpful hand when the Unwins decide to employ them – but they have their own agenda which threatens the sisters close relationship and way of life. I liked the way chance meetings made a world of difference in this well crafted book.
I did guess the plot way in advance, so it made for a quick read – the rags to riches story with greed and profiting in between were enjoyable. My favourite character is Lily because she is simple mind and child like in her efforts to help which is really endearing.
Grace Parkes has just had to do a terrible thing. Having given birth to an illegitimate child, she has travelled to the famed
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. Distraught and weeping, Grace meets two people at the cemetery: Mrs Emmeline Unwin and Mr James Solent. These two characters will have a profound effect upon Grace's life. But Grace doesn't know that yet. For now, she has to suppress her grief and get on with the business of living: scraping together enough pennies selling watercress for rent and food; looking after her older sister, who is incapable of caring for herself; thwarting the manipulative and conscience-free Unwin family, who are as capable of running a lucrative funeral business as they are of defrauding a young woman of her fortune. A stunning evocation of life in Victorian London, with vivid and accurate depictions, ranging from the deprivation that the truly poor suffered to the unthinking luxuries enjoyed by the rich: all bound up with a pacy and thrilling plot, as Grace races to unravel the fraud about to be perpetrated against her and her sister. Brookwood Cemetery
Source – A copy was received in return for an honest review.