Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye – Book Review

Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye – Book Review

Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye

Miss Marley
The Untold Story of Jacob Marley’s Sister

Author – Vanessa Lafaye
Publisher – HQ
Pages – 112
Released – 1st November 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-0008306113
Format – ebook, hardcover, audio
Reviewer – Stacey
Rating – 5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book
Post contains affiliate links.


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…

New one review witch 2017

When I was contacted and asked if I would be interested in reading ‘Miss Marley’ I was a little apprehensive at saying yes. You see the author Vanessa Lafaye died whilst in the midst of writing this book and her good friend Rebecca Mascull completed it for her.

I was unsure how I would feel about critiquing the book, or whether I would be able to notice the difference in writing style and where Rebecca took over. Would the writing or plot alter?

I decided to put my big girls pants on and agreed to review it. I mean who could pass up the opportunity to get a new backstory to an old classic. I need not of worried though, the book is just perfect and had I not of known where Vanessa got up to and Rebecca took over from, I wouldn’t have known this was written by two authors.

At just 112 pages, this is a beautiful novella telling Vanessa’s well thought out backstory to why Jacob Marley (Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol) came to be wandering the spirit world and haunting Ebeneezer Scrooge.

The book is split into three parts and begins with Clara Belle Marley (a sister to Jacob that Vanessa has invented) and Jacob himself trying to fend for themselves out on the cold, dirty streets of Victorian London. The children once lived in a beautiful house with their parents, but unfortunately were turfed out by their wicked Uncle, when their parents died.

From here we witness the two getting back on their feet and to Jacob’s money lending business and how he became to be a Bah Humbug and subsequently a ghost.

The book is just amazing. This new world that Vanessa has created to an old classic is not only extremely imaginative it also fits in perfectly with the original story and I’m sure Mr. Dickens would have been very proud.

The pace is just right, the characters are adorable, especially Clara, and the whole book was delightful to read. This is not only a book that looks beautiful on the outside, but it is also as beautiful on the inside and I truly adored every minute of it. So much so, I read it in one sitting.

This is a book that would make the perfect gift for any Dickens fan and the most glorious read for the festive season.

Reviewed by Stacey

Purchase online from:


About the Author

Vanessa LaFaye

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. Vanessa passed away in February 2018 and her final novel was 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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27 Responses

  1. Sounds like a fun book to get me into the Christmas spirit.

  2. Tasha says:

    This sounds like a great addition the classic.

  3. Bianca says:

    This sounds like a lovely read

  4. Robin Taylor says:

    Great review. Yes, it would have been a difficult book for me to review too. Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. DJ Sakata says:

    I like the sound of this – thanx for your review – I wouldn’t have noticed it otherwise

  6. It is a beautiful book that was just adorable.

  7. It was, but I’m so glad I read it as it is just superb.

  8. You’re welcome. I hope you get to read it sometime.

  9. Great review! This sounds really good! I’ll have to check it out!

  10. Heidi says:

    Great review! Sounds like a good one!

  11. Glad that yu enjoyed it.

  12. I’m adding this to my December TBR!

  13. Jennifer says:

    I love learning about new books from bloggers. This one sounds interesting, so thoughtful. Great review!

  14. Lixa says:

    I will have to check this book out. Thanks for sharing your experiences 🙂

  15. Thank you. The book is gorgeous.

  16. Thank you. It is.

  17. Wonderful I hope you enjoy it too.

  18. Yay, Glad that you like the sound of it.

  19. Brilliant. I hope you enjoy it.

  20. Karla Strand says:

    Interesting idea! Thanks for sharing this one. Glad it turned out well.

  21. Cia Black says:

    If I saw this book on a store shelf I would definitely pick it up based on the cover. I don’t think I would have bought it based on the synopsis though. I loved your review and based on that I would give the book a shot.

  22. Great, lovely to hear that. I hope you do get to read it as it is a lovely read.

  23. Great review Stacey, this is a new book to me but I have heard about the author though, I’m really glad you took the leap and read it and fully enjoy it as well. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.