Vanessa Lafaye with Rebecca Mascull: Miss Marley


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 have been wanting to read Miss Marley for some time now, and the approach to Christmas seemed the perfect time to do so. I loved the way that Lafaye (and by extension, Mascull) uses language. She captures the essence of Dickens’ festive atmosphere and writing style, whilst making it her own and making it accessible to a more modern audience.

Clara’s compassion for others made her a very easy character with whom I could fall in love, and I enjoyed following her journey. She doesn’t have an easy time and I sympathised with her the whole way through and hoped that she would get the ending she wanted. She is a character that I will remember and come back to every Christmas.

Although Miss Marley is a relatively short book, I am pleased that the authors still managed to convey a positive and uplifting message that particularly resonates in the midst of the current crisis.

I have not read anything by either of these authors before, but will definitely be taking a closer look at their work next year.

Miss Marley is available from Amazon.

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