I received this book for free from ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Saving Grace by Ciara Geraghty
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 2009-06-25
Genres: contemporary, fiction, romance & chicklit
Source: ARC received from publisher
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It all started with a bottle of Baileys that was a year out of date but I drank it anyway ...One minute, well, Friday night, you're in a long-term if long-distance relationship with the perfect Shane. The next, Saturday morning, you're waking up in bed with the mother of all hangovers ...and Bernard O'Malley, newest member of the I.T. department. Another entry on the list of things you can't forgive yourself for. The worst is Spain. What you did there. And what happened to your brother. Ever since then, life has slowly spiralled out of control. You dust yourself down, have a cigarette and pull on your stiletto boots. But you know that something's got to give. You just hope it's not the zip on your skinny jeans ...
Am I allowed to confess that I am not a huge fan of the chick-lit genre? It is perhaps a sign that I am getting older (dare I admit it), but I often find it difficult to relate to the supposed trials faced by the central character (“Oh no! I’ve snapped the heel off one of my favourite Jimmy Choo boots. WHAT WILL I DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”).
Okay, maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but I do think that Saving Grace by new Irish author Ciara Geraghty shows that it is possible to write chick-lit with a protagonist who is both fun and has some depth.
There is a certain level of predictability with the characters, but in my mind this is part of the comfort aspect of this style of novel. Grace is tall with blazing red hair, slightly clumsy and generally running late. Her younger sister Clare is petite, gorgeous and happily preparing to marry the man of her dreams. Older sister Jane is practical and reliable. Grace’s boyfriend Shane is gorgeous but self-centred and her “unexpected” love interest Bernard is a geeky IT guy with poor dress sense. No surprises there.
The real pleasure in this novel comes from the wonderful self-deprecating humour of Grace as she narrates the story. Saving Grace is at times laugh-out loud funny, particularly the opening scene when Grace wakes to find herself in bed with Bernard with a very nasty hangover and then finds herself running late to attend a dress fitting for her sister’s wedding.
The heart comes from the damaged relationship between Grace and her mother and her wonderful friendships. Events have brought Grace to a point where she finds it difficult to feel good about herself, yet she is surrounded by true friends and others who believe in her and can see her potential. I admit to shedding a quiet tear or two in the final chapters (I’m such a sentimental fool).
The focus on family relationships and Grace’s self-doubt gives this story depth and prevents it from simply being another frothy and forgettable girl-about-town novel. Grace and her friends and family are likeable and the humorous mishaps offer a wonderful balance to the deeper themes.by