Favorite Lines: “Mothers–they have so much power. a few little words, and a few unthoughtful actions, can nurture or destroy a child. It’s a power I always said I’d use wisely. I sometimes feel as if I’ve failed.” (ARC p. 195)
Bonus Favorite Lines: “Grandpa Luke tried beating the babies from Grandma Faith at first. His fists made the first two children, a girl and a boy, come out strong jawed and ornery. He told her the third one was born dead, wrapped its twisted body in his oily flannel shirt, and buried it in the woods. But Grandma thought she heard a pitiful mewling as he left the room and that sound haunted her to her last thought. While Grandpa scraped the burial dirt from his fingernails, Grandma cried.” (p. ARC 9)
Virginia Kate Carey was born in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia to a wild young woman and a smooth salesman. One of three children, she revisits her painful childhood after her mother passes away and she returns to handle her mother’s affairs.
Dragged into the past by a journal that houses her grandmother’s thoughts and is peppered with her mother’s comments, Virginia Kate begins the journey of coming to terms with her mother’s selfishness and inadequacies, while discovering that she can always find her way home.
Ms. Magendie‘s debut story is an excellent foray into the world of poverty, alcoholism, and abuse, and showcases humanity’s ability to claw itself up from it all. She takes a young woman born into poverty and placed in hellish situations, and forces her to come to terms with the path that led to her pain. She shows her heroine, Virginia Kate, what her grandmother and mother were exposed to, from infanticide to molestation. This gives the heroine empathy and enables her to see a little more deeply into her troubled family’s past.
Tender Graces is all about coming to terms with the past. It is a book that takes place from the 1950’s to present and flip-flops in time. It is a southern women’s contemporary women’s fiction you cannot miss. It subtly shows the abuse all of the characters faced, their reactions to it, and the damage that results. It is not a violent or sexually explicit story.
Tender Graces is an excellent book for people who seek out women’s literature and those who don’t. It is a gripping story that promises to take you to the mountains of West Virginia and dumps you into the lap of a family struggling to survive.