March 4, 2013

Book Review: Saving Grace by Fiona McCallum

At First Sight: Emily Oliphant thought she was getting a happy ending when she married John, heir to the biggest landowners of the county. But what started with a disappointing wedding night never got better and three years later Emily is a bit of a shell of her former self.

Her days revolve around cooking and cleaning for her husband and doing whatever she can to avoid John's temper and her mother's ever present criticisms.

When John agrees to let her get a dog of her own, Emily feels a little hopeful, particularly after she goes to pick up her new dog from a neighboring farmer and strikes an easy friendship with the farmer's wife, in whom she finds a cheerleader and a kindred spirit.

Between this new friendship and the love she feels for Grace, her border collie puppy, Emily is finding her own strength once more; and when John shoots at Grace, just to amuse himself, Emily decides that enough is enough and leves him.

It's scary being on her own for the first time in years, but with the help of her new friends and the support of her father, Emily starts to create a new life for herself.  

Second Glance: Saving Grace was a bit of a mixed bag of nuts. For the most part I found it very enjoyable, I liked Emily a lot and to me it made sense how one seemingly smallish* thing in the big scheme of things sent her over the edge and made her take action over her own life.

As I said, I really liked Emily and I liked reading about her life and her choices, I liked the rural Australian setting.

I only had two problems with the book: one that it goes around in circles quite a bit, you keep reading and reading about Emily starting her new life and after a while you just want something to happen already! And, second, well the ending is very abrupt! I felt like someone took the last third out of my book because there are these narrative threads - among them the romance- that just end. One page you are thinking, "Oh, finally some romance on the way" and the next is all over. 

Bottom Line: I don't want to make it sound like I didn't like Saving Grace because I totally did, I actually got lost in the narrative pretty easily, which is partially why the ending just snuck on me out of nowhere. It could have also used a little more action and romance, but as women's fiction it was very good.  Saving Grace will be published on April 1st by Harlequin Australia. 
* Who am I kidding? if someone shot my dog just for fun, even if they didn't harm him, I would beat them bloody!! No one messes with mah (9 year old) puppy!! 

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