Customer Reviews for

The Mystery of Grace

Average Rating 4
( 30 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

This fascinating urban fantasy entertains the audience

The Mystery of Grace
Charles De Lint
Tor, Mar 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 0765317567

After her beloved grandfather died, Altagracia Quintero falls into a deep depression. They lovingly had worked together restoring old Fords so they ran smoothly and he was h...
The Mystery of Grace
Charles De Lint
Tor, Mar 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 0765317567

After her beloved grandfather died, Altagracia Quintero falls into a deep depression. They lovingly had worked together restoring old Fords so they ran smoothly and he was her best friend. Grace goes to the local bodega to buy cigarettes only to become caught in a junkie robbing the grocer. He shoots her and the next she knows she is back in her apartment in the Alverson Arms. A woman she does not know is there informing her she is dead and in a small dimensional place because she died so close to her building; Grace thinks cigarettes do kill you.

Everyone can return to earth twice a year; on Halloween and On the Day of the Dead, but no one will recognize Grace if she goes back. She becomes friendly with a teenager Conchita who had a rough life. When she returns she meets John Burns at the Solona Music Hall. They fall in love, but she disappears while in his bathroom. His research into her life informs him he loves a ghost as she has been dead for a few weeks. He now knows when he will see her next so he waits for her appearance on Samheim night. Before she disappears Grace and Conchita sneak into the Alverson Arms where they enter the other dimension to learn more about their new home especially why they are trapped there. Grace gives the inhabitants a choice to pass on to the next place in exchange for what they know.

Where Grace ends up after dying is an artificial construct surrounded by a mist in which people walk through it and end up on the other side of town. Through perseverance, she investigates to learn what is going on, but finding out where she is does not mean she is less trapped; but it does encourage her to continue to seek freedom for her and Conchita. This fascinating urban fantasy entertains the audience who will wonder what exactly the afterlife is. Charles De Lint provides his delightful fantasy version.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 29, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Worst Charles de Lint ever!

I usually love works by this author, but this was a big bust. I think it's probably the worst thing he's ever written. If this was the first thing I'd ever read of his, I'd never buy another. I can only hope that this one is a fluke and his next one is better. If the ne...
I usually love works by this author, but this was a big bust. I think it's probably the worst thing he's ever written. If this was the first thing I'd ever read of his, I'd never buy another. I can only hope that this one is a fluke and his next one is better. If the next is as bad as this one, I won't buy more.

posted by Avid-ReaderTX on July 7, 2009

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  • Posted August 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Fiction Gone Wrong

    This is my first time reading a Charles de Lint book and I have to say that, despite a great start, I was quite disappointed in the ending. I rarely buy a hardcover book unless it seems worthy to be in my permanent library. I bought the book after reading the first few pages at my local B&N. After carefully crafting a world based on a variety of urban legends, I expected de Lint to have great antagonist. Instead the antagonist was a rather flat character, and the struggle between the antagonist and protagonist was almost nonexistent. The ending held such promise, instead, it was truly anticlimactic. It seems as though de Lint didn't know how to bring this book to a close. It left me asking, "That's it?" Truly, the "mystery" of this story is why the author couldn't muster a better ending. Fortunately, I'll give de Lint another chance in the future, however, I think I'll go to my local library this time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2009

    Would have been a good short story

    There are authors that I read more for their gift with words than for their stories. Ideally both attract me. For example, Clifford Simak's fantasy writing was always evocative of forests and nature regardless of the story line. Lord Dunsany's writing was dreamlike and ethereal. I have been a fan of Mr. DeLint's writing for years. In his Newford books and Celtic fantasy his writing is almost musical and poetic. Since he changed his venue to Southeastern folklore there has been a change in the atmosphere of the writing. This is fitting and demonstrates Mr. DeLints versatility. The harshness of the desert and the dry mountains comes through. 'The Mystery of Grace' would have been a good short story. It strikes me as the kind of story that one would write as catharsis after the loss of someone due to violence. The music of the words is much more muted here and Grace is the only fully developed character. Everything around her is really a foil for her actions. John shows her ability to love but is unattainable. Conchita is the traditional faithful sidekick, a standard, it seems, in westerns. She helps to bring out more of Graces character. The resolution of Abigail as the villain is not believable. Admittedly hope can be a strong motivator, but I didn't accept the way that it was raised in Abigail. After so many years she should have been more sensitive to trickery. In short, this is not one of Mr. DeLInt's best books. It's one that I would rate as something to read if there is nothing else better to do. As some of the writer's talent shows in the book I rate it the three stars.

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    Posted August 22, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2011

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