TITLE: SAVING GRACE
AUTHOR: CIARA GERAGHTY
The combination of having read and really enjoyed Finding Mr. Flood by this author and Ciara Geraghty’s visit to Bailieborough library last Saturday meant that I couldn’t resist buying her first book and reading it immediately.
I’m really happy that I can say that this book didn’t disappoint me. Maybe I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Finding Mr. Flood, but the difference wasn’t big. Saving Grace brings the reader another interesting and fun story. A story that deals with real issues but manages to refrain from becoming either depressing or supervisual.
This is the story of Grace. A year ago, while on holiday in Spain a tragedy occurred. A tragedy which cost Grace’s beloved brother Patrick his life. A tragedy for which Grace blames herself.
Now Grace is in a long term, if long-distance, relationship with Shane but finds herself waking up in a strange bed next to Bernhard, the new computer geek in the insurance company where she works. From that morning on, Grace’s life start changing although it’s not clear to Grace whether those changes are improving things or making everything worse. All she knows that the few things she thought she knew for sure, her love for Shane, her guilt with regard to her brother’s dead and her loyalty towards her best friend Caroline are certainly not so sure anymore. Grace will need to face reality as well as herself and her feelings if she wants to sort her life out and have a chance at happiness.
When we think of coming-of-age stories we think of books centering on teenagers. This book made me wonder if a coming of age story isn’t any story in which a character faces their demons, deals with them and comes out on the other side improved and wider. Even if Grace is in her late twenties, this for me definitely was a coming of age story in which Grace had to grow up, face life and grab her opportunities with both hands. That Geraghty managed to put all these ingredients into a story and still managed to give me several laugh out loud moments as well as lots of time with a smile on my face only proves that she is a good writer. And that of course means that it will only be a matter of time before I go out and get myself the one book by her that I haven’t read yet, Becoming Scarlett.
Finally, two quotes from the book that struck home with me:
p. 7: “Insurance seems to be an industry that people sort of fall into without ever meaning to. Ask any of them.”
p. 42: “…the silence being occasionally broken by the crisp crunch of a choc-ice being demolished – chocolate first, followed by licking – never biting – of ice cream.”