Having read Love You, Hate You, Miss You, as well as Living Dead Girl, I was prepared for an edgy subject matter. Once again, Elizabeth Scott did not disappoint. I sat down to take a look at the first chapter and didn’t stop until the book was finished.
After I finished reading Grace, I told my husband that I would like him to read it as well because I need to talk about the book with someone to fully understand it.
The inside flap’s first paragraph gives you a good glimpse into the book. “Grace was brought up to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom.”
Is it the near future, as the flap alludes? Is it the present? Is it statement about politics in any certain country, past or present?
I think that young adult readers will be intrigued by Grace’s story, as it is so different from what they live daily. The idea of being “given” to a cause, the idea of being so trained to be a suicide bomber that you consider it an honor, is just not a reality to us.
As you get to know Grace, you also get to know Kerr, the young man who is posing as her brother as they both attempt to escape over the border. Having both endured so much, at such young ages, they are both very similar and different at the same time. Being a survivor is what ultimately brings them to an understanding.
I do believe that there are some people whose psyche’s are such that they are survivors, leading them to not just survive unthinkable horrors, but even be able to move on to having a life after those events are over. Others are not. Put two people in the same horrific situation, and there is no telling which one might end up the survivor. I think of Schindler’s List, of other Holocaust stories, of people who escaped over the Berlin Wall in a hot air balloon, of people over the centuries who have survived dictators, death marches, massacres of their people, and lived to tell the story.
Both Grace and Kerr are those type of survivors. Brought together through no desire of their own, with only their strong sense of survival to keep them going, the book leaves the reader on a hopeful note. That perhaps not only will Grace and Kerr survive, but that they might even find comfort in each other and go on to have a relatively normal adulthood, where the horrors they have survived eventually fade into nightmares of the past.
A quick, gripping read, Elizabeth Scott’s Grace is a must-read.