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Days of Grace: A Novel Hardcover – May 27, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
On the one hand there is a familiarity about the story and, on the other hand, there is a mystery which keeps one reading, with baited breath, until the very last page. Poignant, sad, inevitable, thought-provoking; call the story what you will. Talented,remarkable, destined for fame - that, in my humble opinion, is Catherine Hall.
I agree with other reviewers that the secondary characters could use some more development. However, this one minor flaw is not enough to detract from the telling of a painfully exquisite love born in childhood and framed within the horrendous realities of war. Read this book and you will be transported from the war-torn streets of London to the innocence of youth in an English countryside and back again. Very highly recommended.
Catherine Hall immaculately weaves the evocative narratives of Nora's ostensibly carefree and guileless countryside life with beautiful, charming Grace and her presumably conventional parents, Vicar and Mrs. Rivers. As secrets unfold, Nora and Grace clandestinely embark upon a haunting and gripping sequence of events in London, which culminate, in a perilous journey from innocence to guilt that will tragically consume Nora until her final days.
Finely embellished with past and present narratives, Nora Lynch's unexpected evolvement from lonely window peeper within her limited narrow world to an intrepid leap in her reluctant reaching out to another young woman in need, ultimately compels Nora not only to face, but to acknowledge and forgive her youthful transgressions and to find comforting release.
Discomforting at times, yet undeniably forceful, Grace and Nora suffer unexpected hardships too soon, as Shakespeare reminds us: "...My salad days, /When I was green in judgment, cold in blood..." Unquestionably, a most provocative read, not to be forgotten as I considered how many post-WWII young women faced overwhelming circumstances, and how each confronted resulting personal demons through vastly diverse paths.
Five decades later, Nora is dying from cancer. She brings into her home a single teenage mom Rose and her newborn daughter whom she helped bring into the world as a midwife. Rose allows Nora to name her baby and the grateful elderly woman calls her Grace.
This is a fascinating tale with two subplots fifty years apart that ultimately converge in a terrific climax. Nora, Grace, and Rose are wonderful fully developed protagonists who make the duality entertaining to follow. Although the key support cast is not as solid as needed to further flesh out the tale, fans will relish the fabulous Days of Grace.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When picking up a novel from a debut author, one has certain expectations. Much like the willing suspension of disbelief, the reader of a new author must be expected commit to the... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Stephanie
I expected a story about war experiences not the guilt of a woman for her lesbian feelings for her childhood friend and her despair about the friend's death in a botched abortion.Published 23 months ago by P. Frederic Stepler
Interesting until about half way through then left a little to be desired. Left you wondering about life after she married George.Published on March 25, 2013 by Terry Pickering
I read this for our Daytona Beach book group. It was fine (do you feel the but coming?) but I found it a bit odd. Read morePublished on October 6, 2012 by Sandra Forsythe
I made the mistake of seeing the cover jacket, reading part of the description - that of a friendship between two girls brought together during the exodus of children moved from... Read morePublished on October 24, 2011 by pjf
I listened to the audiobook version of Days of Grace which was brilliantly read by Josephine Bailey, she brought the characters to life so vividly and her accents were spot... Read morePublished on July 16, 2011 by Ericka J.
I'm fairly certain this is the first time I have been completely clueless as to how to start my review. Read morePublished on August 3, 2010 by Misty Baker