Grace Parkes has just had to do a terrible thing. Having given birth to an illegitimate child, she has travelled to the famed Brookwood Cemetery 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 affect 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.
Release Date: 1st February 2011
Source: Won from a Competition
Links: Goodreads / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com
My Review 8 out of 10
This book surprised me so much. This story deals with some really hard hitting issues including (but not telling you all of them as that will spoil the story) illegitimate children etc. There are a lot of twists and turns in this story that it definately kept me on my toes.
What I enjoyed the most about this story is the relationship between Grace and her sister Lily. Because it has been just the both of them for such a long time, they have formed a bond that makes them want to fight to stay together and Grace taking the role of a mother figure. Grace will do anything to make sure that her and her sister stay together. This leads her, together with her sister, to work at a funeral home with a family called the Unwins, who are a lot more nasty than what they seem...
A great historical fiction story about Victoria London. The descriptions in this story was so great, when reading I felt like I was right in the story... If you like historical fiction, I would highly recommend it. If you have never tried historic fiction, this would be a great place to start...