Friday, March 17, 2017

Review: SAVING GRACE by William Graney

"Technically, the new millennium wouldn’t begin until 2001 but most of the world considered December 31, 1999 to be the last day of the century and the dawning of the next thousand years. While celebrations were beginning on the other side of the planet, Grace sat peacefully with a latte and contemplated the possibilities of Y2K catastrophes and what life would be like when the year
started with a two instead of a one." (5)

This New Year's also marked Grace's 50th birthday. With loved ones long gone, Grace has come to accept her solitary existence with no husband or children in the foreseeable future.

During a routine jog on the start of a new year, Grace encounters a middle-aged man named Levi. Like Grace, Levi was also lonely with the divorce from his ex-wife and the death of his only daughter. The two find an instant connection through their grief and hope. As the two get to know each other, they come to realize they have much in common, including the struggle to make it and trying to make the world a better place. Even though each have their own skeletons in the closet, both Grace and Levi find peace in running and passion in their profession (Grace as head ER nurse and Levi as a high school English teacher.)

Meanwhile, Laura, a convicted woman who killed someone near and dear to Grace, was due for a parole hearing and executed a plan for release and revenge.

Story was simple and well-written. I enjoyed the bond between Grace and Levi--two dark souls that found a light in each other. Graney did a wonderful job developing characters with true depth and raw emotion. As the story is written in the POV of these characters, we feel the torrent of emotions that swirl through, like Levi's overwhelming love for Grace and Grace's cautious optimism for a man that has re-awakened her spirits. We also feel Laura's poisonous and methodical mind as she manipulates her cohorts and plots to kill our sweet Grace.

Of course, the pace was languid and the story tended to wander. Laura's cold-hearted revenge was a very compelling angle in the story, but the premise was too drawn out, trudging along insipidly and going almost nowhere. All we hear about is her time in the halfway house and her sweet thoughts of revenge. Okay, so where does that take her? I was rooting for a final showdown concerning Laura, but the whole thing was rather anti-climactic. The bulk of the book was mostly on the new couples (Grace/Levi and Michelle/Robbie,) which was okay, I guess.  

Still, the story was, for the most part, interesting, but not quite up to my tastes.

My rating: 3.5 stars 

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