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4.7 out of 5 stars
Tender Graces
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
In a world of rushed 30-day novels, brooding teenage vampires and prepubescence riding broomsticks....Kathryn Magendie shines through as a beacon of hope for those who require character development and descriptive literature to place them inside the story. Tender Graces is a literary work of art that will quickly find a sanctuary on your bookshelf.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
Virginia Kate Carey received a phone call from her uncle with news her mother died. Two weeks prior, she'd received her grandmother's journal in the mail along with a letter from her mother to come home. Little did Virginia know when she sent back a reply back, refusing to come home, it would be the last.

Filled with remorse, Virginia is heading back with her grandmother's journal. Through this journal and her mother's notes in the margins, she will be carried back in time.

Kathryn Magendie's poetic voice will tug at your heart as she paints a realistic picture of a time gone by. Fans of Southern Literature will cherish TENDER GRACES.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
"No matter what, we care about our mommas and we always will." This single statement, by her Aunt Billie, defines the life of Virginia Kate Carey and her brothers as told with care and total believability by Kathryn Magendie in TENDER GRACES. Rarely have the effects of adult neglect and cruelty to children been presented with such grace and clarity. We applaud the resilience of the children, but see the scars that linger forever and can find little sympathy for the perpetrators, regardless of the reasons for their actions.

Virginia Kate's Mother, Katie Ivene, is a cruel, alcoholic, promiscuous, narcissistic beauty who is hard to love. Her father isn't perfect by a long shot, but he does his best to provide stability for his children and it is fortunate for everyone that he finds a true saint in his new wife, Rebekha. We find ourselves rooting for Rebekha and becoming impatient with Virginia Kate's guilty reluctance to love her. Although we want to believe a sliver of goodness motivates Katie Ivene, it is too slippery to grasp.

Despite its overarching theme, Virginia Kate's story is filled with beauty, mystery, and the joys of life. Transcending the genre of women's literature, it is reminiscent of such classics as TOM SAWYER and HUCKLEBERRY FINN.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Katherine Magendie's TENDER GRACES is a powerful, moving and beautifully written debut. With rich detail, vivid imagery and finely drawn characters who leap off the page, drag you into their lives and make you root for them, this book will command your attention all the way to the final page...and leave you wishing for more.
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41 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
When I ordered this book, all 17 reviewers on Amazon gave this book 5 stars, so I was expecting a fantastic read. I was disappointed. If you haven't read Connie May Fowler's Before Women Had Wings, Rebecca Wells' Little Altars Everywhere, and Rick Bragg's All over But the Shoutin, I suggest reading these wonderful books instead. Tender Graces shares the "troubled childhood in the South" theme, but I found it less engaging, and I did not enjoy the writing style. In my opinion, there are so many better books with similar plot lines.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Great character developement. Sit on the porch with your sweet tea and enjoy this great coming of age saga.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Tender Graces
What can i say? This book was one of the best books I've read in a very long time. I didn't want it to end, i wanted to keep reading , to follow the rest of Virginia Kates life.
Virginia Kate, along with her older brother Micah, younger brother Andy live with their Daddy Frederick and Momma Katie in West Virginia.
Their Momma and Daddy met when Grandma Faith invited Daddy to their house for supper . They were married shortly after but the happiness didn't last forever, they soon were arguing and fighting which escalated day by day . Daddy ends up leaving to Texas to live with his Mom while finishing school. And then everything goes downhill from there. I wanted to hug Virginia Kate and tell her everything will be ok and i wanted to slap Katie for destroying their kids life. I also wanted to slap their dad too and throw every bottle of booze in the garbage.
A passage from Chapter 1 : All my tired flies out the window when i see Grandma Faith standing in the mountain mists that drift in and out of the trees. She's as she was before, like one lick of fire hasn't touched her, whole and alive and wanting as she beckons me. Grandma whispers her wants as she's done all my life. I put my hand out the car window as Momma used to do, and say "Wheeee..." then holler to the owl flying in the night. "I'm Virginia Kate, and i'm a crazy woman." He keeps his wings spread to find his supper. I don't feel silly one bit.........
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Tender Graces" is a very touching novel about a woman reminiscing about her childhood after her mothers death. She has the daunting reponsibility of sorting through her mothers possessions which brings back many memories, some happy and some sad. The author, Kathryn Mangendie, has an uncanny way of taking the reader back in time with her main character as she remembers her childhood in detail with emotions and visuals.

I enjoyed this book very much. I laughed and cried while reading it. I loved the way Kathryn started in the now and flashed back to the past and periodically brought you back to the present. As I read it I felt as if I were there with Virginia Kate from her childhood to her adulthood, as she searches for answers to questions about her mother's motives.

I cannot wait for the next book by Kathryn Magendie.....I give this book 5 stars...get it....read it....you WILL enjoy it!!!!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
How did I love it? Let me count the ways:
1. Poetic
2. Imaginative
3. Clever
4. Unique
5. Exciting
6. Haunting
7. It made me laugh/it made me cry
8. It's one I'll never forget

The story is beautifully written, haunting, profound, and develops the characters in a way that makes the reader feel personally connected. It should be in Oprah's book club. I hope she reads it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am not as eloquent as the other reviewers but I know what I like and this book is IT! It reminds me of an Appalachian Ellen Foster but stands well on its own. With her whirly-world and her mountain singing to her from near and far Virgina Kate is a force to be reckoned with. Virginia Kate Carey is the little mountain girl in many of us: moving toward a more worldy future yet yearning to return to our simple, homey and sometimes painful roots. This work of beauty will stay in my heart and bookshelf a long time...when it is not being shared with friends.
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