Read from November 06 to 08, 2014
Synopsis: When Emily Oliphant married John Stratten, she thought it was the beginning of an exciting new adventure, imagining herself standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the most eligible farmer in the district, mucking in to build a thriving agricultural business. Three years later, however, Emily sees her marriage for what it is — a loveless tie to a callous man, her advice heeded only when it pertains to her husband’s dinner.
The last straw comes when John threatens to harm her new puppy, and Emily is forced to brave her husband’s wrath, and her mother’s glaring disapproval, and move out. With the encouragement of her new friend Barbara, Emily moves into an abandoned property, taking on the mammoth task of making the unloved house into a home. As she begins to work on the property, she discovers a new side of her father, meets some new friends and finds an inner strength she never knew she had.
Emily’s fragile confidence is soon tested, though, when the owners of the property make her a tempting offer. Will she risk everything and invest in the ramshackle house that has finally given her a sense of purpose? Or will Emily listen to the views of the community, and the voice of her mother, and go back to her sensible, but meaningless, life with John?
Bookish Things: 400 pages. The cover is very Australian outback, but it suits the book perfectly. I was especially drawn to the book because of the Border Collie on the cover.
Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $9.22
Saving Grace is a story about survival. Surviving a bad marriage, surviving small country town gossip and surviving making a new life on your own two feet.
Emily Oliphant was a bit of a Mary Sue, in that she tried to be the ‘perfect wife’ the ‘perfect daughter’ and the ‘perfect host’. Her naivety was laughable at times, her simple ideals sometimes frustrating and at others cring-worthy.
I liked Barbara, David and Des, hated Enid, wasn’t fussed on Nathan or Liz either.
Two winning characters shone through for me. Grace, the Border Collie, and Jake. I really liked both characters and everything they bought to the story.
Considering this book was around 400 pages, not a great deal happened. There is a lot of inner reflection, personal learning and family bickering. I think it is small country towns in a book (yep stereotyping there I know), but it had a warmth and closeness about it, that was tinged with the barely veiled threat of ostracism that occurs in said country towns.
The location was painted well, allowing the Australian outback to shine through, yet portrayed the very real issues farmers face with clarity and a no BS approach.
I did notice a couple of typos in this, which irked me to no end, but as I was given an ARC copy it is likely these could have been rectified before publication.
**Note: Harlequin provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review**