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Grace's Pictures

Grace's Pictures

4.0 29
by Cindy Thomson

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Grace McCaffery hopes that the bustling streets of New York hold all the promise that the lush hills of Ireland did not. As her efforts to earn enough money to bring her mother to America fail, she wonders if her new Brownie camera could be the answer. But a casual stroll through a beautiful New York City park turns into a hostile run-in with local gangsters, who are

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Grace's Pictures 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
The story begins as Grace McCaffrey arrives at Ellis Island. Her life in Ireland has not been easy, but she hopes for a new beginning in New York. She learns to take pictures with her new camera, and unexpectedly finds her self in a mess of trouble—with a gang, no less. Did she take a photo that could incriminate a gang leader? What adds to her already dire circumstances is she finds it difficult (because of her past) to trust others—especially the police. Enter Owen McNulty—a police officer intent on fighting crime and cleaning up dangerous street gangs. (heh heh) Can he convince Grace to trust him? Will romance blossom?  This lovely tapestry is interwoven with threads of Christianity, history, and resiliency. It’s rich with descriptive scenes, romance and growth. I’ve little doubt you will enjoy Grace’s Pictures. 
Theophilusfamily More than 1 year ago
 My review in two sentences: The gorgeous cover on Grace's Pictures is perfect for the story within. Grace McCaffery is an entirely appealing heroine, and her story is told so descriptively!    This book captures the timidity and fear of an new immigrant just come through Ellis Island, as well as the boldness and spirit needed to make a new life in America.  Grace comes to America with burdens to carry. Her young life in Ireland has included much suffering. A harsh father whose death sold her into the workhouse has left her believing that God doesn't love people like her.  Her father considered her worthless, but her mother tells her she is smart, and strong and able. Grace has a hard time seeing those qualities in herself.  Grace's ambition is to work hard and earn enough money to free her mother from her second marriage, a marriage she entered so that Grace could be sent to America.  Grace's rule for herself is to never trust policemen, for it was policemen who tore her from her mother and took her to the workhouse.  However, Grace never planned on meeting such a kindly police officer as Owen McNulty.  Nor did she plan to fall in love with photography and purchase a one-dollar Brownie camera.  And she never planned to cross the gang "the Dusters."  From there is the story of Grace's Pictures.  This book is a delightful combination that intrigued me on may levels: I am part Irish, I am fascinated by police work, my best friend is a photographer, and I love historical novels.  Grace's Pictures is delightfully long and wonderfully descriptive, written in the just the right tone for Grace and at just the right pace for this period in history. I made a mistake in beginning Grace's Pictures so late in the evening the day it came, because once I started I did not want to close this book. I am happy to announce that this book has a home in my library, and this is a new series that I am eagerly watching for.  I am very blessed to have received an ARC from Cindy Thomson and Tyndale House to review early. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mary dose not like it and you can post books back if you like
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this story a lot. It brought the perspective of a poor immigrant who has a desire to take photographs. The characters are well developed and move with the story. I think it is a fun easy read that anyone can enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Well, expect some kits." He slipped out.
CO2AZsnowfox More than 1 year ago
Finally a different time here in the USA, at the cusp of technology. A female character with concerns & doubts who finds others that trust in God & maybe she should too. Liked that she became stronger, but it sure took her awhile.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wfnren More than 1 year ago
A nice enjoyable read  --   The title, and the cover, of this book drew me in because I, like Grace, love to take pictures and I once had a Brownie, only it was at least 50 years newer than Grace's. I really enjoyed the story and Cindy gave a look into the future with it. The idea of a photo being taken and then used to identify a crook or to use as evidence against someone was a stepping stone to where we are now with phone's that will take pictures, record voices and even movies that can be used for the same thing and even to manipulate people into doing things they don't want to do or to keep a secret you don't want anyone to find out about.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Grace's Pictures is about a young Irish woman who immigrates to America. She arrives in New York City trying to fit in a busy city. She finds herself buying herself a Brownie camera. Which leads her to trouble. I liked Grace's Pictures. I liked seeing what my Irish ancestors went through when they first come to their new American home. I love the historical value of the story. I found I really like the character of Grace. Such a strong young woman. I would give this book 4 and half stars.
AllenJessica More than 1 year ago
Plot: The plot of this book was actually interesting. It had so much in it that I wasn't expecting. It had several dimensions to it that gave the story depth. Characters: You really did get to see Grace transform throughout this story. From the little girl in Ireland to the confident woman in America, she literally transforms as you read this story. Themes: The main theme in this book is trust. Grace had to learn how to trust the police even after her experiences as a child. She also had to learn how to trust God and that He would make a way for her. Emotion: The characters themselves had a lot of emotion, however, it didn't really translate off the pages of the book. Overall: I have to admit that I didn't think I was going to like this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. There were so many elements to it that it was enjoyable to read and it wasn't overly romantic and predictable. It was actually, quite unpredictable and kept me guessing the whole way through. ---I received this book for free from the publisher for this review.---
VicG More than 1 year ago
Cindy Thomson in her new book “Grace’s Pictures” Book One in the Ellis Island series published by Tyndale House Publishers takes us into the life of Grace McCaffery. From the back cover:  “Listen to me,” her mother had said. “I don’t care what lies your father once spoke to you, darlin’. . . . Remember instead this: You are smart. You are important. You are able.” Grace McCaffery hopes the bustling streets of New York hold all the promise the lush hills of Ireland did not. As her efforts to earn enough money to bring her mother to America fail, she wonders if her new Brownie camera could be the answer. But a casual stroll through a beautiful New York City park turns into a hostile run-in with local gangsters, who are convinced her camera holds the first and only photos of their elusive leader. A policeman with a personal commitment to help those less fortunate finds Grace attractive and longs to help her, but Grace believes such men cannot be trusted. Spread thin between her quest to rescue her mother, do well in a new nanny job, and avoid the gang intent on intimidating her, Grace must put her faith in unlikely sources to learn the true meaning of courage and forgiveness. I admire all that came to America as immigrants.  They gave up their homeland and came here to start over mostly not knowing anyone over here and never having been here before.  They certainly had a spirit of adventure.  Despite the fact that Grace is timid she is an immigrant and has that sense of adventure.  We take pictures left and right now practically everywhere we go but back in the 1900′s taking pictures was an entirely new thing and not everyone wanted their picture taken.  Grace takes a picture of a gang leader and, since this is the only picture ever taken of him, the gang wants to destroy it.  Owen is the cop who wants to help Grace however she has a distrust of cops and wants nothing to do with him.  ”Grace’s Pictures” is about friendship, love, betrayal, healing from past wounds and finding your place in the world.  This is a fun read filled with adventure and romance.  I do not recommend starting this book late at night because it will cost you sleep as you will not want to put it down.  Ms. Thomson has given us an excellent beginning to this wonderful series and I am looking forward to the next one. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow was this book boring. The characters were dull, dim witted and most of them hard to like. There was no suspense, no love story, nothing but meaningless words. This is my first book and probably the last by this author.
rlighthouse More than 1 year ago
Good BookGrace came to America to escape Ireland and try to have a better life. She had to get over her fear of policemen and allow them to help her after finding herself in the middle of the mob when she accidently took pictures of them when trying to find the "perfect shot" with her new camera. The book was good, it had more history then romance.
iblog4books More than 1 year ago
To be totally honest, I had mixed feelings about Grace's Pictures by Cindy Thomson while I read it, and I’m still having difficulty deciding what I feel now—even as I write this review. Initially, I thought I would absolutely love the book. The descriptions of Grace’s initial experiences in America—New York City, Ellis Island, the immigration process, and trying to find her “place” in this new country—were incredible. It felt so realistic to me. The story moved quickly at first, as Grace finds a place to live, is introduced to other immigrants, and is given a job as a nanny. However, partway into the book, the story began to drag, and my interest wavered. Part of my struggle was that the two main characters (Grace and Owen) had little interaction with each other. That went on for so long that there eventual “relationship” seemed a bit forced to me. Additionally, the mobster story that took center stage for much of the book was just odd and extremely confusing to me at times. Finally, Grace constantly repeated a saying that her mother told her as a child: “You are smart. You are important. You are able.” Ring any bells? It’s VERY close to the line that is repeated through the 2009 best seller The Help: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” It was a little too close, in my opinion. While not my favorite, this book does present a very well-rounded story. You get to see Grace and Owen’s lives as a 360 picture, rather than merely one- or two-dimensional. Their home life, work life, family, friends, and past all play important parts of their story, which was nice to see. [3.5 stars] I received a temporary e-copy copy of this book from Tyndale House via Net Galley in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recently arrived in America from Ireland, Grace is so very suspicious of everyone. She also continually finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. This book was interesting because the plight of the immigrant was so vividly portrayed, but sometimes it seemed like too much happened to one poor Irish girl. But, it was an easy summer read that I enjoyed.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
Grace's Pictures is an in depth look at what life was like for an Irish immigrant in the early 1900's. The author did such a good job of making me feel like I was back in that time. I found myself feeling frustrated that Grace had such a mistrust of the police. However, with an understanding of her background in Ireland, it made perfect sense. I really enjoyed Owen's character. As a rich young man who made the decision to become a policeman and help clean up the streets of the poorest neighborhoods, he was a strong character in the story. Grace is scared and distrustful as she arrives in America. Eventually, she becomes the nanny in a household with plenty of strange issues of its own and begins to find her place within this family, taking care of children who desperately need love. Grace also begins taking snapshots with her new Brownie camera and inadvertently finds herself in a heap of trouble as local gangsters target her when they believe she has taken their pictures. I enjoyed this story, however, I was expecting the romance to develop between Owen and Grace more throughout the whole story. This book does have a hint of romance, but the major storyline is about Grace making her way in America and Owen trying to rid the city of gangsters and crooked cops. An overall enjoyable read. I am thankful to have received this book for free in a giveaway on Cara Putman's blog.
Louisa_May More than 1 year ago
Grace's Pictures is a charming read that takes place on Ellis Island during the early 1900s. Admittedly, it took me a few chapters to really get into the story but when I did, I had to know what was going to happen. Grace is an Irish lass who has quite a lot of trust issues and who seems very lost in New York. She is a very timid person, and I am quite the opposite so her personality and past aren't exactly something I can relate to. Still, her character is sweet and she changes by the end of the book. A plus for me was learning a bit about early photography and the Kodak Brownie camera. History stuff makes me happy. If you're looking for an easy, cozy read this summer, I think you'll like this one.
kristen4mk More than 1 year ago
Grace McCaffery is a recent immigrant to New York from Ireland in 1900.  She had an abusive father and was torn from her loving mother to live in a workhouse and was recently sponsored to come to the United States to have a better life.  She struggles with the unfamiliarity of her new life, has some serious trust issues, and struggles to believe that she is special in any way.  In New York she meets a cast of characters ranging from mostly trustworthy to some dangerous crooks who think her new photography hobby is infringing on their crimes (they are correct). I was very torn in writing this review.  I know there are many who will love it, so I'm certainly not wanting to discourage anyone from reading it.  I was eager to read this book; however, I just couldn't fall in love with Grace or the writing style no matter how hard I tried. I did appreciate the historical detail, especially on several different topics that I haven't typically seen in previous historical fiction I've read....Ultimately I just personally found Grace unlikeable -until the very end- and since this book is primarily about her, it was challenging.  I also thought it strange that her mantra of "You are smart. You are important. You are able." was SO similar to the one in 'The Help' (written in 2009 by Kathryn Stockett), "You is kind, You is smart, You is important." Again, I know there are many who will love this book so please read it and decide for yourself......totally my two cents.
AnotherBibliophile More than 1 year ago
Sweet, Touching, but Lacks Depth. I very much enjoyed reading about the Kodak Brownie box camera, and the life of Irish immigrants in 1900-1901. I felt that the discussions of Tammany Hall and its influence could have been better explained. I’ll be looking that up. The historical descriptions and the surroundings were very well written, but the characterizations seemed incomplete. It was slow-moving at times, and repetitive. I kept hoping for more in-depth description of Grace’s feelings. I did enjoy it, overall. I added a star for a clean story, with intrigue that is resolved at the end. It's great for a light read.
J4Life5 More than 1 year ago
Grace's Pictures is an interesting book from a historical standpoint. Thomson obviously did her homework in researching the book. The snapshot into how early personal cameras were received by the public as invasions of privacy was quite interesting in comparison with our current obsessiveness with snapping pictures of everything and compulsively posting them online for the world to see. It was interesting how corrupt the police organization was and the role of the police of that time. However, despite all the interesting history and information in this book, I just couldn't get interested enough in the characters to care what happened to them. Perhaps there was too much predictability. Obviously, Grace and Owen were going to become friends (or more) at some point. Even the happenings in the Parker household were foreseeable. I'm sure there are readers that would love this book, but it just wasn't for me. If you are looking for a light historical fiction to read in an afternoon, this might be for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grace is an immigrant from Ireland who passes through Ellis Island in 1900.  A poor young woman with no one to vouch for her in a big city, Grace is in constant peril of succumbing to the city's underside until she meets a young police officer on a mission to keep his beat safe for decent citizens, including Grace. This book felt long.  It dragged.  It kept going and going.  The plot suffers drastically from a lack of contrast between the emotional highs and lows of the story.  Grace is starving, homeless, country-less.  She's just escaped the clutches of the evil English work house, only to find herself working for a woman who is emotionally troubled.  Her one outlet, a brownie camera, keeps getting her in trouble with gangs.  What ought to have been a heart-rending emotional journey of self discovery was less than a series of vignettes featuring immigrant life in turn of the century New York. Similarly, the police officer who is Grace's potential romantic interest and the other main character suffers equally from poor writing.  Yes, I understood what he was supposed to be: a young man of courage and conviction who is willing to turn his back on everything he's ever known as a member of the upperclass to help make life better for others.  But again, the writing is so flat, I had trouble believing he actually had the chutzpah to do what was needed to defeat the villains. Other than that, this book was fairly non-objectionable.  Any repercussions from discussing abandonment, child abuse, the affect of an emotionally unstable parent, the drug trade burgeoning at that time in NYC, dirty cops, beatings, harassment, death threats, etc. are practically mitigated by the monotone narration.   This book fails solely to poor execution.  I have read other books with similar plots and themes which I enjoyed, and wouldn't mind reading again.  But this novel fails to fill its niche.  There just wasn't enough emotional content for me to buy into.  
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
Grace was sent to live in a workhouse in Ireland after her mother was thrown out of their home. With no money, her mother was able to get Grace the opportunity to go to New York, where a church organization would help Grace find a job. It always amazes me how these young people left their homes and families, got on a ship, and traveled across the sea, never truly knowing what would be awaiting them on the other side. What bravery that took! Grace is taken to Reverend Clarke, a man of God who helps immigrants find work and form a community. My favorite line in the book is from Reverend Clarke, who said to Grace, "And I ask myself, is there more love in the world because of what I'm doing? If not, I need to change that." Imagine if everyone in the world followed that idea, what a lovely place this would be. Grace finds work as a nanny to a family of five young children. Their mother appears indifferent and their father is a busy businessman, who wants to control everything and everyone. Grace has a hard time at first dealing with them all, but she grows to love the children. Thomson has a way with a phrase, like this one: "Owen's mother and her friend jabbered so much a candle didn't have a chance of staying lit in the room." She drops us right into the setting, teaching us the slang of the day, such as "peeler" for police officer. Her visual imagery is strong as well, describing a group of newsboys sleeping in a doorway as "huddled together like puppies." I immediately had that picture in my mind. Grace takes her young charges to Battery Park, and Thomson's description of that scene brought the place to life, as they dodged pretzel vendors and young boys" hawking trinkets". The theme of immigrants and how they are perceived by the society is a timely topic, as Congress is now debating how best to deal with the immigration issue in our country. We can see in this novel that, although set over 100 year ago, the treatment of immigrants is a topic our country has grappled with for a long time. A unique aspect of this story is Grace's infatuation with the newfangled Brownie camera. Grace meets a photographer and is entranced with his work. She saves her money, buys herself a simple camera, and teaches herself to takes photos. At times, this gets her into trouble as she accidentally takes photos of a mobster who doesn't want to be photographed. This storyline adds an interesting piece to the novel. There is a love story, and some action as Grace's camera gets her into trouble. I liked that Grace found people who helped and encouraged her, rather than took advantage of her as we often see in stories like this. We also see New York at the turn of the century, along with the internal politics of the police department. Thomson clearly did a great deal of research for this novel. If you like immigrant stories, Grace's Pictures is one you should not miss. I'm hoping that we meet Grace and her friends again in the future as she surely has more of her story to tell.
Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
Grace's Pictures is a must read! Grace McCaffrey leaves Ireland to start a new life in America.  When she arrives at Ellis Island a photographer asks permission to take her picture. Grace hesitantly agrees and she accepts a business card from the photographer in case she would like to have the photo once it is developed.  As she settles into her new life in New York she is inspired by the photographer and decides to buy her very own Brownie camera.  As Grace ventures out to the streets of New York she is eager to take photos of unsuspecting pedestrians.  This does not set to well when she may have taken a picture of a known gang and their leader.  The gangsters are determined to get the camera from her which puts her in danger.   When she lived in Ireland she abhorred the police.  She never trusted them in Ireland and refused to trust them in America because most of them were Irish.  It seemed one policeman had taken it upon himself to see to her safety and it did not hurt that her found her very attractive.  He convinced her to let him escort her to and from her nanny job as means of protection.   Will Grace ever trust men, especially the Irish policeman.  She was even afraid to trust God. The author has added an interesting element which was the Brownie camera along the presumption that a woman in 1900 would dare to venture into the field of photography.  Some of the characters the author has worked into the story are known historical figures.  I am always eager to learn something new about our American history. This story is full of suspense that will have you holding your breathe at times.  There is also the stirrings of romance.  But most important there is forgiveness and reconciliation.   God does not turn from this woman even when she turned from Him.  The author writes of how God reveals His path for these characters. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  This review is my own opinion.
Virginia76 More than 1 year ago
Newly arrived from Ireland, Grace learns to take pictures with her new camera, but gangsters think she took a picture of them. A policeman wants to help Grace, but she distrusts all police, and must decide who she can trust. I liked this story of Grace. She seems timid upon her arrival in New York City, but circumstances force her to have courage. There were many characters in the book, and the reader had to decide if some were good or bad. The parts about the police corruption and using a camera were rather interesting.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
A sweet historical novel with a touch of danger that keeps you reading until the end. I love history so when I saw this book featured a heroine from Ireland, my favorite country to read about outside of the U.S., I jumped at the chance to review it. Grace's Pictures brought up some I history that I, quite frankly, had never thought of. Sitting here with my little touch-screen Nikon with its pink case and Marylin Monroe neck strap, I never really thought about what it would be like for people when the Brownie box camera was first introduced. “So easy even a child can use it”, those are some pretty empowering words if you really think about it. Now anyone could take photos, forever capturing the smile of a loved one or a scenic view that you wished to remember for years to come. Along with the newfound freedom came a question of ethics, loss of privacy, and even danger if you photographed the wrong person. We sure have come a long way since 1900. Another piece of History that I hadn't thought much about involved Tammany Hall. I had heard of Tammany Hall before and the widespread corruption, but I hadn't really thought that there might have been a few honest cops that didn't knuckle under. The hero of Grace's Pictures, Owen, is one such cop. This book is not Historical Romance. Historical, yes, but not overly romantic. Grace's Pictures is more about Grace, herself. Grace has a lot to learn, about...everything. With her emotional growth stunted by years of verbal abuse, first from her father, and then at the workhouse, she is torn screaming from her mother and then unable to see her for years. She is sent to America, an alien country, where she has to mature and learn to take care of not only herself, but the children she nannies for. Grace has to learn to trust others, herself, and most importantly, God. Will Grace learn to trust and find the inner strength that only God can give, in time to save herself and the others now in danger because of her? My suggestion is to read this book and find out! (I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.)