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Finding Grace Paperback – July 27, 2012
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The characters are fully developed, easy to relate to, and real. Grace's relationships with her parents, her many brothers, and her friends, are genuine. Readers will become invested in Grace's fate, and yearn for her to win her true love in the end. "Finding Grace" is a moral read, without being bland or boring. I laughed out loud. I shared in the heartaches as Grace learned who she is, and who she can be, with the grace of God. I really do miss the characters and I'm sad to be done with the novel, even though it has a beautiful ending!
RECIPIENT OF THE PRESTIGIOUS CATHOLIC WRITERS GUILD SEAL OF APPROVAL.
About the Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laura H. Pearl grew up in Plattsburgh, New York and studied at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where she earned a BA in English. She married her high school sweetheart, with whom she raised five sons, and currently resides with him in Southern New Hampshire. This is her first novel.
Laura blogs at: mumsie2five.blogspot.com/
Follow Laura on Twitter @Finding_Grace_
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Many young people deplore their parents' choice for their names, and Grace Kelly (she of the horn-rimmed glasses, braces, and frizzy hair) is no exception! But living up to a glamorous namesake is nothing compared to the subtle challenge Grace detects from her loving father--to become a saint!
As the story of Grace's teen years unfold, American society during the turbulent '60s and '70s with its radical ideas becomes Grace's biggest opponent to her goal of becoming a saint. I, for one, strongly identified with her and her desire for true love, especially in a world that seems to find traditional mores impossible to live with and personal sanctity an impossible ideal to live up to. Yet through it all, Grace perseveres in her faith and love of family, and despite her myriad setbacks, she discoveres that true saintliness is achieved by discerning God's will for one's life and accepting it whole-heartedly.
I have recommended this book to my nieces and nephews and I'm sure they will see themselves in it as surely as I have seen myself!
A great read that shows the power of prayer, the benefits of a close loving family, and the importance of strong friendships with others who truly have your best interest at heart. Oh, and it's also a fun love story. The only problem was that I became so attached to the characters that I didn't want the book to end.
But Grace is no emo, angsty teen bent on self-destruction. In fact, the opposite is true; her path of self-denial and right living actually keeps her physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthier than the kids around her. This is the 70’s, after all, when all the cool kids are embracing the new culture of intoxication and free love. Even the Catholic Church itself, of which Grace, her family, and friends are all members, is going through changes. I could relate powerfully while Grace struggled to keep her footing as the bedrock of moral certainty itself shifted beneath her feet. But Grace has her head on straight and her heart in the right place, even if she is sometimes deferential to a fault. Luckily, the author does indeed have a plan for her, as well as the other people who populate her world.
Finding Grace is set in upstate New York, in Plattsburg, on the shores of Lake Champlain. Laura Pearl lovingly details the setting, its inhabitants, and its culture. No character is insignificant and every one is thoroughly introduced and developed. If you are in a hurry and looking for an action-packed thrill ride, this isn’t your book. If you want to take the time to immerse yourself in the protagonist’s world and know the story of everyone you meet, you will love Finding Grace; all the more so because (and this is so important to me as a reader) the characters are all good people – human and flawed, of course, but good folk. Personally, if I start reading a book and there isn’t one character I can relate to or care about, or who can make an intelligent choice, I stop reading. Finding Grace is the antidote to such books. Every person is thoroughly introduced and his or her motives made clear so that even someone who seems objectionable on the surface can be understood. As in real life, there is good in everyone. While Grace struggles to find her path toward sainthood, she treats everyone in her life with mercy and love. As it turns out, everyone is deserving of it in his own way – a very Christian and true message.
I will not discuss the whole plot but as for Grace, she struggles between placing others ahead of herself and the desires of her own heart. She spends her high school years in the company of other nice kids like herself. They all attend the same Catholic school, come from similar backgrounds, and wrestle with making the right choices while coming of age in a society that is falling for the progressive siren song of guiltless, libertine pleasures. It’s a story that’s just as relevant today as kids fumble towards adulthood in a world of negative influences. And spun throughout the narrative are multiple tales of love – familial, friendly, and romantic. Finding Grace is a delightful, good, long read. I recommend you join Grace Kelly for her formative years in her richly detailed world as she discovers that God has a very rewarding plan in mind for her after all.
This book does a terrific job of blending simple uplift with real tension, and squarely confronts issues that confronted society, and by extension the Catholic Church in the early-to-mid 1970s, the fallout with which we live with today. And even if you're not Catholic, it's just a good story.