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Saving Grace by Annie Jones

March 13, 2012

Book Review: Saving Grace by Annie Jones

This work of fiction centers around four female friends of different ages. Naomi, Lucy, Rose and Gayle are in different stages of life and dealing with various circumstances and concerns. It is revealed in the story that the women have been friends for a long time and grew up in this small southern town.  Naomi feels that the four women have drifted apart and she thinks a ‘project’ is just what they need to reconnect. An elderly woman named Grace is the project.

This book is the second in a series, and I hadn’t read the first book. Maybe that’s why I didn’t feel the women’s characters were very well developed. There were times when I felt the interactions between the women were not believable. For instance, Naomi is referred to as the one who comes up with wild schemes and gets them all in trouble. In the case of Saving Grace the “wild scheme” is befriending the reclusive Grace Grayson-Wiley, inviting her to a children’s play, and getting her back into society- GASP!

The back story of the reclusive, elderly woman centers on an annual ball. When the woman was a young debutante her beau stood her up for the ball. Ever since then, she has dressed in the same ball gown and sat on her front porch on the anniversary of the ball. The details of their break up are not known, which is part of the mystery that surrounds her. The townspeople avoid her and refer to her as crazy. Maybe I just don’t understand the southern culture, but I find this an exaggerated and extreme reaction to a quaint, slightly eccentric, yet otherwise normal, elderly lady.

I just couldn’t get attached to the women in this book. There were times when I felt like I was plowing through the pages; having said that, there is nothing objectionable about the content. Some older teen girls may enjoy the book, but I have reservations about how much they could relate to women with problems that include the worry of being an ‘old maid,’ concerns of a husband wandering, romance after widowhood, and pregnancy at the age of forty.

This is the kind of book I imagine as a good read on a vacation or road trip where intermittent reading could be enjoyed, as opposed to a riveting story where one cannot put the book down and a long uninterrupted weekend is called for.

Note: I received this ebook from Multnomah Waterbrook Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Flags: see the About page for an explanation of flags

  • Gayle is concerned that her husband is having an affair and it is stated in exactly those terms. (He isn’t)
  • Naomi is in her forties and pregnant. She  has some struggles to adjust.
  • Pregnant Naomi looks at herself in the mirror in her husband’s “Valentine gift, a black chiffon nightgown with red satin trim.” She does not feel attractive and she jokingly compares herself to potato salad,  whales, and a heavy weight contender.  She wants to be “appealing to her husband, not appalling.”
  • A man suffers a heart attack. It is described as the wife hearing him fall to the floor.
  • Kissing between spouses and a couple in their thirties. Simply stated as “he kissed her” or similar.
  • Christian themed discussions of putting faith “in the Lord,” ”going on to be with the Lord,”  “‘precious Jesus,”‘ “Lord,” and “accepted Jesus.”
  • Multiple instances of praying in the “Name of Jesus” and addressing the “Lord.”
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