Looking for something to read over the weekend ?
Nothing on your book radar that is screaming ‘read me’?
Take a look at my Friday Favorite. It may be new. It may be old. It may be written by a famous author, or by someone you have never heard of. But wherever in the spectrum it falls, it will be a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.
This was a debut novel by this author. I sincerely hope she has written more since I read this in 2016. As soon as I have finished posting, I am going to check… This is a beautifully written book, and I felt a great deal of nostalgic pleasure reading through my review.
‘One Mississippi, two Mississippi….’
The truck engine fell quiet, leaving only the sound of tree frogs. Lucky’sears perked. I rubbed the white spot on the back of his neck, and he relaxed back onto the floor beside me.
‘Three Mississippi, four Mississippi. …’
Tucking Barbie underneath the throw pillow on my lap, I traced my finger over the red blooms that covered my library book. Abby, my little sister, lay dozing on the opposite end of the couch, sprawled flat on her back. She had a way of sleeping through anything – a loud television show, or even one of Momma and Daddy’s late night arguments. As I watched, her long eyelashes fluttered, just slightly. Then she giggled in her sleep, rolled over onto her belly, and continued snoozing.
‘Seven Mississippi, eight Mississippi. …’
Slipping my hands under the pillow, I twirled Barbie’s silky hair and stroked the bumpy fabric of her pin-dot skirt. Momma sewed most all of Barbie’s clothes from scrap material, and sometimes we even dressed alike. Barbie and me, not Momma and me.
‘Nine Mississippi, ten Mississippi. …’
I stared at the back door for a good long time.
What was Daddy doing? Resting, thinking, deciding whether or not to turn around and leave for good?
ABOUT THIS BOOK: Ten-year-old Gracie Lee knows a few things. She knows which trees are best for climbing. She knows how to walk through the hallway without making a sound on the hardwood floor. She knows if Daddy’s crop gets one more drop of rain, the whole family will pay the price. There are plenty of things Gracie doesn’t know. These things keep her awake at night. Gracie longs for something bigger and grander and truer, and feels certain there is more to life beyond school and dull church sermons. She worries about the soldiers in Vietnam and wonders what it must be like to have been born Lisa Marie Presley from Tennessee instead of Gracie Lee Abbott from Arkansas. Mostly, she wishes her Daddy wasn’t so mean. Gracie’s unchecked imagination leads to adventure, and adventure leads to trouble. She confides in unexpected characters and seeks solace in a mysterious gray house beyond the cotton field. When Gracie faces a difficult family situation, she must make a life-altering decision, one that will test the very essence of her character. “At best, most first novels indicate potential. It would be wrong to say that, when reading Talya Tate Boerner’s The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee, I was pleasantly surprised. Actually, I was amazed. There’s magic here, in a wonderfully-told story that will find a special place in any reader’s heart.” –Jeff Guinn, New York Times bestselling author
MY THOUGHTS: The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee is one of those books that slowly works it’s way into your heart and leaves you feeling like one of the family. I read it in one sitting, unable to put it down.
Ten year old Grace Lee Eudora (how she hates that name!) Abbott, Gracie to friends and family, hates playing the piano and is fascinated by the French language. She knows a lot of things (some of them she wishes she didn’t), but the things she doesn’t know keep her awake at night. She worries about the soldiers in Vietnam and wonders why she couldn’t have been born Lisa Marie Presley. She has long involved conversations with the father at her local Baptist church and asks him to pray for her Daddy, who surely must be one of the meanest men on earth. She prays for rain in the dry, and for it to stop raining in the wet, so that her Daddy will have a good cotton crop and maybe become nicer, not only to her but to her mother and sister.
She takes to hiding out in the lovely grey house down the road, where the unknown man shot himself, and where there is a whole lot of books, including a coveted set of encyclopaedias. She writes the man letters, telling him about her life and what is going on in the community, without knowing if he is alive or dead.
We follow Gracie through the school year, and long summer holidays. We watch her struggle with her relationship with her father, and try to understand her mother. We watch her cope with betrayal and bullying, and with death.
This is a delightful book, well written and evocative of both the era and it’s setting. It is a book that I know I am going to read again.
Than you to Southern Yellow Pine Publishing via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee by Talya Tate Boerner for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.
This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1552990979