Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Grace by Paul Lynch

A sweeping, Dickensian story of a young girl on a life-changing journey across nineteenth-century Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine

Early one October morning, Grace's mother snatches her from sleep and brutally cuts off her hair, declaring, "You are the strong one now." With winter close at hand and Ireland already suffering, Grace is no longer safe at home. And so her mother outfits her in men's clothing and casts her out. When her younger brother Colly follows after her, the two set off on a remarkable odyssey in the looming shadow of their country's darkest hour.

The broken land they pass through reveals untold suffering as well as unexpected beauty. To survive, Grace must become a boy, a bandit, a penitent and, finally, a woman-all the while afflicted by inner voices that arise out of what she has seen and what she has lost.

Told in bold and lyrical language by an author who has already been called "one of his generation's very finest novelists" (Ron Rash, author of The Risen), Grace is an epic coming-of-age novel and a poetic evocation of the Irish famine as it has never been written.


Grace is a novel about a young woman and her brother who are forced by their mother to leave home and potential starvation due to the potato famine. It is a life-saving effort, but it sets the duo upon an unforgettable journey through Ireland during one of its most devastating eras. It is a coming of age story, but also one of survival and courage. The prose was mesmerising and evoked both vivid images as well as emotion,

I most definitely enjoyed this novel and recommend it to all those who love tales about strong heroines historical detail, and heart-wrenching stories.