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Grace Group Kindle Edition
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|Length: 271 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
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You will laugh, you will cry, and you will walk away from this book with a renewed sense of purpose. His purpose.
Maldonado skillfully weaves a story of tragedy, humor, and redemption in a way that reflects the reality of life. I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s style: refreshing, quirky, and on point. I also related to the main character Holly, who cannot seem to ask anyone for help and endeavors to please everyone around her. When the news of the diagnoses hits hard, Holly finally turns to the One who can truly set her free from her pride and selfish tendencies. Only then can she live a life of generous love that affects all her relationships.
What I love most about this book is the way the author stresses the importance of our daily actions and attitudes, which affect so many people as well as eternal destinations. In Holly’s allotted time left, she utilizes every opportunity to bring God’s love to her parents, friends, employees, and acquaintances, many of whom are struggling to understand life’s purpose.
This book made me determined to love God and love others to my utmost, and that’s what the best books do. They challenge us!
Holly Matthews—workaholic corporate HR director, impatient, irritable, self-proclaimed loner with a crumbling romantic life—receives a terminal diagnosis at age 35. She reluctantly attends a support group for the dying and is surprised by the members’ camaraderie and frankness. Taking a challenge from the group, Holly begins volunteering at a local shelter—where she finds instant attraction to a hardworking (and possibly single) dad of an adorable little kid—and she develops a new openness and healthier sense of self. When a second potential love interest arrives at the grief group, Holly finds herself on the verge of death but with a sudden urge to keep living. After discovering her counselors are actually angels in disguise, Holly’s on a clock to turn from her selfish ways and instead experience the goodness of faith. Trying to unravel her tangled knot of romantic attraction and caught between her old habits and the hope of something better, Holly must reevaluate her priorities and squash the voice of temptation before her time on earth runs out.
After the first few chapters paint Holly in a miserable extreme, I expected to see a 180-degree, Ebenezer Scrooge-type transformation. Although Holly’s entrance to the grief group happens a little too easily, once she arrives, the angel characters are well crafted and engaging. Despite the enjoyable banter, however, at times the spiritual themes are a bit murky. “Accepting one’s purpose” becomes a catchphrase without full definition, and the angels describe a certain economy of good deeds combating evil intentions in a butterfly effect without much logic or demonstration. Holly’s prognosis is a universal one, though, and Maldonado certainly pulls no punches in exploring the ways life can get messy. Where the storyline starts as a thought exercise, it soon becomes a full-blown reality. Even the characters who aren’t aware of Holly’s condition appear in convenient places and manage to say what they mean, giving the story a parable feel focused on Holly’s internal conflict. Maldonado does a great job showing the confusion of life and the difficulty of deciding which impulses to follow without making the story itself confusing. Holly’s emotional turns are sharp enough to pull the reader along, and there’s a delightful amount of suspense considering readers know about Holly’s disease from the start. Grace Group is both a celebration of life and a challenge for those living it, demanding that every reader look in the mirror to discover what matters. Recommended for Christian book clubs and lovers of romance and inspirational fiction, especially those experiencing grief.
Thanks Carrie for making me stay focused on how I'm being of service