Grace May has enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom to her two young boys, but with her youngest son's first day of school rapidly approaching, Grace can admit to feeling anticipation about what the future holds. The past 8 years of her life have been completely dedicated to the boys and their needs and she is looking forward to rediscovering who she is underneath the layers of mother and wife. She's not even dreading turning the big 4-0, like many of her friends are. She welcomes all that being 40 could hold.
In rapid succession, Grace's neatly ordered life and her future fall apart. Her husband drops a bomb into her lap that could easily detonate and cause her life as she knows it to explode. Her best friend finds out some life-changing news. The job that Grace had lined up falls through at the last minute. Grace goes from having it all to potentially losing everything. Grace is not about to let her life fall apart without giving it one last go, and by the time her 40th birthday arrives she will have learned that the things that matter most in her life have been there all along.
Although I am several years away from turning 40 myself, I had my kids younger than the main character Grace did, so I could relate to her feelings of transition. Although I always worked while my kids were little, I worked part-time so that I could be home with them and available after school and for class trips. Since my youngest, who is now in the first grade, started going to school full-time, I have found that I have also attempted to rediscover myself and find out who I am when I'm not "mom". I think that this is an aspect of the story that many mothers will relate to. Although we will always be moms first and foremost it is interesting to see who we become when our kids go off to school.
I thought that the topics covered in On Grace were varied and they kept me interested. Fidelity, infertility, and finding oneself are all touched on. Although the potential was there for there to be too much going on at one time (Grace is going through some tough things while her best friend is as well), I thought that debut author Susie Schnall handled everything in a way that remained both balanced and realistic. I didn't have to suspend my belief at any point while reading.
On Grace is an honest and relevant debut. It is beautifully written and it will cause you to reflect on your own life and the relationships that you hold the most dear. My thanks to the publicist for inviting me to participate in this tour!
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