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Monday, July 11, 2022

Review: The Grace Year

 I usually review independent authors. I normally give my star review and leave the written reviews to others when a book is a NYT bestseller and has over 2,000 reviews. It isn't because I don't care, but because I want to support the author who is trying to create a following.

There are some exceptions. These are books I come across and I am simply compelled to write a review for some reason. For The Grace Year by Kim Liggett that reason is the novelty of the idea. It reminded me of several puritan works I read by Nathaniel Hawthorn in the explanation of the women's magic powers and near evils during their grace year. And yes, not all the girls are coming home. 

A truly compelling idea turned into a page-turning story. There were very few subplots but the main thread kept me engaged. It draws on the tensions between science and faith, gender roles, tradition vs contemporary, generational sim, coming of age, and, of course, throws in a bit of a love story.  Worth a read.

The story is set in a dystopian future where girls are sent into the woods the year before they are married to "get rid of their magic." While there, they must gain control of their magic powers but also stay within the camp confines. If they venture out, poachers will capture them and harvest body parts for potions to be sold back in the town.

The main character ends up crossing the fence into poaching territory. There she finds there may be some scientific explanation for the women's madness. She also finds out her parents are not who she thinks they are, learns about herself, and finds love. Over all, it is worth a read or, if you have audible, worth a listen.