Mary Hooper’s Velvet

(Apologies to anybody getting an email notification regarding this post update: This was originally published on my old blog and since uploaded here)

I don’t think I have cried quite so much at one bit of a book. That next to last chapter really got to me, and I thought it was all over. But luckily it wasn’t, there was more around the corner.

The next chapter was a much happier one, but still had a slightly sad element. And in some ways that happy ending ruined the book, because it seemed to me to be a typical ending, that typical happy lovers ending. But maybe really, leaving the book on a sad ending would have left me really quite sad and even distraught.

I was utterly captivated in this book though, I picked it up the first day and read four chapters, but the next day I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up past midnight finishing the book. Then in fairness I ended up staying up several more hours thinking about the plot and the meaning of the book.

As the book is set in the start of the 1900’s it’s a step back in time, but somehow it still seems so modern. A young person running away from her past life to start again, that girl messing up but being given another chance and then that girl raising up in the world – it sounds great. But then that same girl Velvet ends up stuck in a lovers rut, caught up in a world of spiritualism and then endangered by the fraud that surrounds her present life.

The sad reality that her trying to escape from the guilt of her basically murdering her father, leads her to get caught up in a much worse scenario – especially when it turns out that her father didn’t die that cold night and has even stepped into the house where Velvet currently lives.

And who’d have thought that a girl that used to work in a steam laundry would end up meeting Arthur Conan Doyle and wearing the sort of clothes she used to clean and fix.

At least Charlie the aspiring police detective comes to the rescue, especially when Velvet goes to him about some baby farm in Reading.

This book was amazing. I was dubious because I don’t exactly believe in spirits, but wow that put me in Velvets shoes, I could understand her thinking. Mary Hooper wrote this book perfectly and even though the ending seemed typical it fitted perfectly. This book will make you think time and time again ‘owwh no poor Velvet’.

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