Thursday, July 8, 2010

Review & Book Giveaway-Days of Grace

by Catherine Hall
Viking/Penguin Group
$25.95 pages, 304 pages
ISBN 13 :978-0-670-021765
Published 5/27/2010

Synopsis from the Book Jacket:

Be careful what you say, like everyone else, you will hear things that the enemy mustn’t know. Keep that knowledge to yourself-and don’t give away any clues keep smiling.

On the cusp of World War !!, this warning resonates with Britain’s fearful population. But to Nora Lynch, these words carry another layer of meaning, one more intimate and shameful. And for more than fifty years, she will keep her lips tightly sealed.

When the war breaks out, twelve-year-old Nora is one of thousands of London children evacuated to the safety of the English countryside. Her surrogate family, Reverend Rivers, his wife, and their daughter, Grace, offer Nora affection and a wealth of comforts previously unknown to her. But what Nora is too young and too naive to understand is that the place she’s been sent to isn’t the Eden she originally believes it to be.

As the dogfights rage ever more fiercely overhead, Nora’s friendship with Grace intensifies, but Nora aches to become even closer. What happens next is a secret that she hill harbor for decades, a secret that Nora begins to reveal only when, elderly and ill, she can no longer bear its haunting corrosive power.

My Thoughts:

The story is told with alternating chapters of Nora speaking: the elder Nora, and Nora in the present. I realized pretty early on that the elder Nora is angry and reflects upon her life. She is a cranky, bitter old woman who stares out the window at her young neighbor across the street, a pregnant young girl. The young Nora is jaded by the wonderful life she now has in the country. She adores Grace and they become fast friends. In fact Nora falls in love with Grace. On the outside, Grace seems to have it all, loving parents and a good home in the country. Nora feels she was sent away and struggles with her feelings about her mother. When given the opportunity to return to London to be with her mother she makes a difficult decision that weighs on her.

The early part of the book reads a bit slowly, hang in there, I promise when Nora and Grace make adventurous plans you will be anxious for the details that follow. There are many secrets in Days of Grace that propels the reader ahead. Many years later, Nora old, frail and on the verge of crossing over, reflects on a secret so dark it has shadowed her life with grayness.

Catherine Hall’s debut novel is a haunting story of friendship and love and the secrets of life that determine our destiny if we allow it.

Disclosure: This was a free copy sent to me by the publisher.

Win a copy of this book!!!! Contest runs till July 16th, 2010


Anonymous said...

This sounds right up my alley. And thanks for letting me know that it starts slow but gets better.

I'll link to your review on War Through the Generations.

Iliana said...

I've been hearing about this one and it sounds really good. Please throw my name in the hat :)

Thanks for the giveaway!

bermudaonion said...

I love books that include secrets - it adds an air of mystery to the plot. Great review.

wisteria said...

Diary...Thanks for posting this on War Through the Generations. got it.
Bermuda...I know I agree.

serendipity_viv said...

I find the idea of reading about evacuees fascinating. My auntie was evacuated when she was young, but she was the only one in a family of six. I do like the sound of this book.

wisteria said...

Vivienne-I bet your auntie has stories to tell. How interesting.

mindy said...

this looks great thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net