Friday, April 19, 2019

Book Review: Amazing Grace

By Sara Steven

Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted.

Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary - and her perfect life fell apart.

Now she's a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks…

Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up on her doorstep, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves.

So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness?

A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life for the better – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

There were plenty of moments and situations in Amazing Grace that really spoke to me, coming from the perspective of being a parent as well as knowing what it’s like to co-parent. Grace tries hard to establish some sort of normalcy, not only for her son but for herself, as well. It’s not always easy when there are others involved, and there is always the constant struggle in wanting to do what’s right, and wanting to do what’s right for yourself and your family. Should she give her ex a chance, or should she move forward with the new relationship in her life?

Grace is also trying to find herself and the woman she’d been before her marriage. She discovers that she used to be a lot more adventurous and outgoing, and I could really feel this sense of wanting to incorporate more of that in her life. I think so many of us can recall a time where we felt a lot more courage in the things we wanted to do and pursue, a youthful exuberance that wanes a bit with age. It’s a big reason Grace can be a lot more open and willing to allow the potential for a new relationship, in the form of Vinnie. There is a scene shared between Grace and her son, Archie, regarding this newfound relationship, that was very honest and realistic, particularly when it comes to how children feel when divorced parents begin dating again, only adding to her confusion. I could tell just how much she wants to do what’s best for Archie. But at what cost?

There are sweet moments that are shared between Grace and her mother, too, in an unconventional, unique way. I am on the fence on how important those moments really are for the strength of the story, since Grace’s experiences and the characters who support her were more than strong enough. I’m not sure the dialogue was really needed, although it did provide a bit of backstory to better understand the inner workings of Grace and her newfound relationship with Vinnie. The other scenes and moments really flowed and led into the beauty of a woman who is ultimately facing so many of what could be considered life’s toughest changes, and she’s trying to do it with dignity. I really enjoyed Grace’s story, from a relatable standpoint, and from an inspirational one, too. It reminded me that, even though we age, it doesn’t mean we have to stop living. Her lessons can apply to anyone, no matter their situation in life.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Amazing Grace can also be found at Amazon UK, Apple, and Kobo.

Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at Kim the Bookworm.

Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association's Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can't quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.

When she's not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She's also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.

Amazing Grace is her debut novel with Hera Books and was published on 10th April 2019

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Janine said...

Thanks for the recommendation!

Laurie I said...

What an excellent review! And I love the synopsis of this book. Thank you for telling me all about it.