Friday, January 1, 2016

The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee by Talya Tate Boerner

"Ten-year-old Gracie Lee knows a few things. She knows which trees are best for climbing. She knows how to walk through the hallway without making a sound on the hardwood floor. She knows if Daddy's crop gets one more drop of rain, the whole family will pay the price. There are plenty of things Gracie doesn't know. These things keep her awake at night. Gracie longs for something bigger and grander and truer, and feels certain there is more to life beyond school and dull church sermons. She worries about the soldiers in Vietnam and wonders what it must be like to have been born Lisa Marie Presley from Tennessee instead of Gracie Lee Abbott from Arkansas. Mostly, she wishes her Daddy wasn't so mean. Gracie's unchecked imagination leads to adventure, and adventure leads to trouble. She confides in unexpected characters and seeks solace in a mysterious gray house beyond the cotton field. When Gracie faces a difficult family situation, she must make a life-altering decision, one that will test the very essence of her character."

Gracie Lee lives on a farm with her mother, father, little sister and their dog Lucky. She is a nervous worried child, always anxious over everything from whether she will drown during her baptism to how many beers her father has consumed, to what has become of the man from the "pretty gray house." Gracie's mom plays piano at their church. Gracie decides one day during the invitational hymn to go up and speak to Brother Brown about praying for her heavy drinking father with the nasty disposition. From that point on Brother Brown becomes somewhat of a confidante for Gracie as she struggles through a difficult home life. 
As a fan of historical fiction I enjoyed this story, set in the 70s, with references to Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Nixon. I did feel it started off a bit slowly but it was definitely worth sticking with to the end.
I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

I received an advance copy for review


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