Synopsis from Goodreads
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 Ebenezer 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’m a big fan of Charles Dickens, so when offered the chance to review Miss Marley which is set in Dickens A Christmas Carol I just couldn’t say no.
The idea of picking up a character from a beloved classic such as A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and write their story, it can only be done by someone with some guts. This is the kind of thing that can go very wrong, but in this case it went the complete opposite way.
The way that Vanessa Lafaye decided to tell Jacob Marley’s story through the eyes of her own character – his sister Clara Belle Marley – was a stroke of genius. This decision is what gave Lafaye the freedom she needed to explore their story, while still being truthful to Dickens creation.
I had no idea until after I finished reading, that the author Vanessa Lafaye has unfortunately passed away before finishing writing Miss Marley. Her good friend and writing partner Rebecca Mascull whom shared the same love for Dickens as Lafaye, took upon the task of finishing the book for her. While reading the novella, I really couldn’t pin point where Lafaye voice ended and Rebecca Mascull began.
As Mascull said in the Afterword, it was like Vanessa’s voice flowed through her while she was writing…and that’s the feeling I got from reading.
Miss Marley is a quick and delightful read for all Dickens and Vanessa Lafaye fans. The perfect gift for classic book lovers at Christmas.
Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye is available for pre-order on Amazon (affiliated link).
Thanks HQ Stories for sending me a ARC of Miss Marley in exchange for my honest review.