Monday, November 2, 2009

Tender Grace, by Jackina Stark

As Tender Grace begins, Audrey Eaton realizes she's locked herself into a grief shell following the unexpected death of her husband over a year ago. In an effort to get her life back, she decides to take a solo road trip to visit a destination she and her husband had always planned to experience together.

This is Stark's debut novel. She does a magnificent job of putting the reader into Audrey's emergence from her shell, one destination at a time. She leaves her home and family in Missouri and at first travels very short distances, hiding in hotel rooms and watching television. As the days progress she grows more bold, until she finds herself having some wildly unexpected adventures in her westward journey.

I loved the way the author used the Book of John, from Scripture, to illustrate Audrey’s return to faith and trust.

Tender Grace is a gentle story, written in journal form. This is one I could read again and again, just to enjoy the skill with which Stark portrays Audrey’s growth as a person. The realism in the book brought tears to my eyes more than once.

I thoroughly recommend Tender Grace.


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