Wednesday, 31 October 2018

#BlogTour Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye with Rebecca Mascull

Today it really is a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye with Rebecca Mascull. The historical novelist Vanessa Lafaye died this year at the end of February aged 54. A week after her latest book deal with HarperCollins was announced she succumbed to her battle with cancer. Miss Marley features Ebenezer Scrooge's ghostly business partner, Jacob Marley, and his sister, and is inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  Fellow novelist and friend Rebecca Macull finished the last chapters of Lafaye's Miss Marley.

Miss Marley has been lovingly completed by her friend, Rebecca Mascull, author of The Wild Air and The Visitors. Both women were members of The Prime Writers, a collective of authors traditionally published aged 40plus.

About the Author
Vanessa LaFaye was an American born author living in England. A thirst for adventure brought her to Europe in 1987, first to France and then England. She spent many years in academic publishing, including the Oxford University Press. She wrote two acclaimed historical novels set in Florida, Summertime published in 2015 followed by First Light. Her final novel will be published posthumously. LaFaye was the founder of the Marlborough Community Choir in Wiltshire, England. She detailed the impact of living with cancer in her popular blog Living While Dying.

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Buy Miss Marley

About the book
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.

It is an incredibly difficult task to tackle redefining, adding on or reinventing an old classic, especially an internationally known story like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. In this case there is another level of difficulty, because the author of Miss Marley, Vaness Lafaye, unfortunately passed away before she could finish this novella. Her friend and fellow writer Rebecca Mascull completed the book, so readers are now able to enjoy this beautiful addition to Dicken's characters.

There is a fine line between being an enthusiast of a writer and their work, and skewing their legacy. Let me be clear neither Lafaye nor Mascull have done anything of the sort. The original story has been left intact and the back-story of an important character has been developed instead.

Everyone who has read or seen A Christmas Carol will know who Jacob Marley is. The miserly colleague of Ebenezer Scrooge, who is doomed to wander the earth as a tormented and chained ghost, as punishment for being so greedy and selfish while he was alive. In Miss Marley we learn how Jacob came to be the jaded and ruthless businessman.

Miss Clara Marley is Jacob's sister and the two of them know better than anyone what it is like to live the life of a pauper. They were orphaned and thrown out into the streets when they were both young children. They starved, slept on the streets and suffered abuse at the hands of bigger bullies until one day when Jacob changes their fate forever.

What becomes clear is that Jacob is damaged by the traumatic events of his childhood. It has made him hard and unforgiving, even at the expense of his own happiness and that of his sister Clara.

Miss Marley is a book I would buy for any fan of Charles Dicken's. Lafaye and Mascull have stayed true to his writing and his characters. The story of Jacob and Clara fits in perfectly with A Christmas Carol. It is a story of forgiveness, redemption and understanding, even when the person who needs it most is unable to accept or see it.

Miss Marley deserves to become part of the classic tale of A Christmas Carol.

Buy Miss Marley at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Harper Collins, HQStories, Pub Date 1 November 2018

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