Friday, April 27, 2012

Jackie Weighs In on "Grace"

"Tammy Greenwood is a master at writing riveting family drama, and this book might just be her best yet.  Kurt and Elsbeth have been together forever it seems, and they've fallen into a number of common traps--accidental pregnancy that canceled college plans, taking over Kurt's family business after his brother was driven out of town, his mother died and his father became ill.  The recession and a refinanced mortgage that now involved a huge balloon payment made things that much worse.  Then there was Trevor--always a difficult child, and now that he's a teenager, and 6'2", the problems seem to be worse.  What his parents don't understand is that he was only defending himself from some major bullies at school who were making his life a living hell.  Little 6 year old Grace is the light of everyone's life.  But the problems mount, and everyone tries to cope.  Kurt picks up a second job, Elsbeth shoplifts compulsively as a way to deal with an ever present feeling of wanting, and Trevor picks up a camera to find a new way to see the world.

In a parallel story, there is the story of Crystal, a high school senior in the same town who has just given birth to a baby that she was forced to give up for adoption.  She's struggling with what everyone else wants her to do and what she wants for herself.

Lack of communication and too many assumptions by too many people brings both stories to a literally explosive conclusion in this tightly woven, complex and completely absorbing drama.  If you are like me, after reading the first two pages, you will not be able to put this amazing book down." 


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