Everyone has heard of A Christmas Carol, if you haven’t read it, you’ll have at least seen a TV or movie adaption (hopefully!). Scrooge’s story is known by us all, but what of his deceased business partner – Jacob Marley – who comes to Scrooge in his chains and tries to help scrooge see the sins of his ways?
We know the mass of chains represented all of the sins Marley had committed in his life. But what had he done? Was he always a sinner? And why did he want to help Scrooge?
Lafaye chose to write this beautiful story to explore Jacob’s life and she did so, by creating Miss Marley – Clara Belle Marley – his sister.
Sadly Lafaye passed away before she finished the tale, so in her honour, Rebecca Mascull completed the story, allowing us all to be gifted with this final literature treat from Vanessa. I can’t begin to explain to you how wonderfully powerful and moving this short story is. To me, it’s an instant classic – to be shelved next to Dickens’ original and read together each Christmas.
Clara’s sweetness and kindness is felt throughout the book and is a stark contrast from her brother’s more stern approach to life. Whilst, of course, you’re always going to see Jacob as a ‘bah humbug’ kind-of-guy, what’s really teased out in this tale is the reasons why he spiralled in that direction… and if it doesn’t pull at your heartstrings… well then I’m slightly concerned for you! His love for his sister is self-sacrificingly unconditional and painstakingly devastating as it leads him down a path of greed and selfishness.
When you’re wanting to immerse a reader in a world that’s already been created, setting and characterisation are key to pulling it off; I felt this was definitely achieved, in fact I was blown away by how naturally I was swept up in the Dickensian era.
This is the perfect Christmas novella, it left me feeling very humble that I’d been able to read it. That usual feeling you get when you finish a good book, was felt 10 times over!
It’s a truly very special book.
Miss Marley is published by HQ and is out now in Hardback and eBook.
If you want to find even more out about this stunning novella, why not check out the other stops on the tour:
Thanks Joe for organising another marvellous HQ blog tour!
Until next time, Chloé x