Synopses & Reviews
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.
"It is 1861 London, and 15-year-old Grace, who cares for her childlike older sister, Lily, is on a funeral train to give a dignified burial to Grace's stillborn baby, which was conceived after she was raped. Grace and Lily are in dire financial circumstances their mother is dead and their father left before Grace was born to seek his fortune in the Americas and they make ends meet by selling watercress. But Grace's train ride brings her into contact with a series of characters including a wealthy and corrupt family of undertakers, who Grace and her sister come to work for, and a handsome young lawyer that dramatically change her fate. There's a Dickensian quality to Hooper's (Newes from the Dead) story (the man himself makes a brief appearance); that which seems random is in fact meticulously planned, and nothing, not even the bundle in Grace's arms, is as it seems. And though Hooper's period descriptions, while evocative, can slow the story at times, readers will be engaged by the twists, turns, and deceits of Grace's rags-to-riches story. Ages 14 up. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
MARY HOOPER is a popular writer for children and young adults, best known for her finely woven historical novels, including Newes from the Dead
, The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose
, Petals in the Ashes
, and At the Sign of the Sugared Plum
. She lives in England.