Author – Mary Hooper
Age – 13+
London. 1861. The time of Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria. But also a time of terrible poverty and hardship. Grace Parkes and her sister Lily live this life of daily hand to mouth existence.
The story begins with Grace hiding her tiny baby’s body in a woman’s coffin at a cemetery – just so it doesn’t have a pauper’s grave.
She returns home to Lily promising herself a new start in life – a new beginning. But what follows is a loss of her home, her freedom and nearly even Lily. But there is something she doesn’t know – Something that will change their lives forever. Her father who left for America to find work has left them a fortune in his will. How will she claim what’s rightly hers and free herself of the family who is trying to claim it for themselves?
The cover of this book does not do it justice – proving the age old adage – Do not judge a book by its cover.
The Victorian setting for this novel is so richly written, I could almost smell the manure covered streets, and feel the damp London fog and the hunger of the characters. The ending is a page turner, wonderfully wrapping up the several threads of the story.
(Victorian, Historical, Courage, Grief, Poverty, Loss, Courage)