Goodreads blurb: ” Before A Christmas Carol there was… Miss Marley
A seasonal tale of kindness and goodwill
Orphans Clara and Jacob Marley live by their wits, scavenging for scraps in the poorest alleyways of London, in the shadow of the workhouse. Every night, Jake promises his little sister ‘tomorrow will be better’ and when the chance to escape poverty comes their way, he seizes it despite the terrible price.
And so Jacob Marley is set on a path that leads to his infamous partnership with Ebeneezer Scrooge. As Jacob builds a fortress of wealth to keep the world out, only Clara can warn him of the hideous fate that awaits him if he refuses to let love and kindness into his heart…
In Miss Marley, Vanessa Lafaye weaves a spellbinding Dickensian tale of ghosts, goodwill and hope – a perfect prequel to A Christmas Carol.”
I’ve been listening to the audio version of Dickens famous story every Christmas for a number of years now, so was thrilled to be sent a proof of Miss Marley to review.
As soon as I started reading this I was transported to Victorian London and fell completely into the childhood world of Jacob and Clara Marley. I could see everything happening as I was reading and felt like I was surviving on the streets with these poor orphans.
I loved this story, and how cleverly Vanessa Lefaye created Clara Marley to tell the story of how her brother Jacob became that first terrifying ghost that visits Ebeneezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. I could tell that the author knew Dickens work by the references to scenes in Miss Marley, the threat of debtors prison, Fezziwig Jacob Marley’s employer, the child with the crutch gazing into the toyshop window, the wonderful descriptions of the Christmas food and the way both Marley and Scrooge complain about the poor as if they are blight on society.
The Afterword by Rebecca Mascull, who seamlessly completed the final few chapters, is so poignant and a wonderful tribute to her friend, who sadly passed away before the book was finished.
I thoroughly enjoyed this and will be reading it every Christmas alongside A Christmas Carol.
Thanks so much to Joe at HQ Stories for my gorgeous proof copy.
Miss Marley is available to buy now and would make the perfect Christmas present this year.