Ten-year-old Hope is a bit of a loner with a wonderful imagination. Growing up in the 1950s with a single mother and a mysteriously absent father, the letters she writes to her imaginary friend, Grace, help her cope with the difficult times in her life: her mother’s depression, their money worries, struggles to make friends at school and her grandmother’s death.
On her eleventh birthday, Hope is shocked to learn that Grace is a real personher twin sister, who contracted polio and was adopted when they were toddlers. Hope believes that finding Grace is the only way she can help her mother deal with her guilt. Hope’s hunt for her sister takes her and her mother to the tiny community of Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia. There she finally meets Grace, who is all the things Hope wishes she could be. They become friends, but Hope doesn’t know how to tell Grace the truth. How can she have a relationship with her sister based on lies and secrets? A crisis will force her mother to be the adult she needs to be and allow Hope and Grace the chance to be children together.
About the Author
Becky Citra is the author of over twenty books, ranging from early chapter books to novels for young adults. She was an elementary schoolteacher for over twenty–five years and began writing for children in 1995. Becky's books have been shortlisted for and won many awards, including the Red Cedar Award, the Diamond Willow, the Silver Birch and the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize. For more information, visit www.beckycitra.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Finding Grace was a sort of generic tale with an emotional moral at the end. It was well-executed, the characters were somewhat likable, and the plot was interesting, albeit slightly melancholy for a story aimed at the childrens/middle-grade audience. Nevertheless, not the best middle-grade book I’ve read, but it was sufficient enough to keep me reading; thus, it was just okay for me. ___________________________________ WHAT I LIKED + The story concerns a ten-year-old girl named Hope who finds solace and comfort in writing daily journal entries to her “imaginary friend” Grace. Similarly, we also see the way Hope interacts with the world about her and how she responds to the consistent haste in her household. This is mainly what appealed to me as it conjured questions that a reader could face in everyday life and simply mirrored a lot of the things we sometimes encounter (or have encountered as children). + Finding Grace was partly a coming-of-age story with plenty of devices within the plot to make the reader imagine a tale of larger depths. There were poignant moments, realistic and common themes readers may have experienced themselves, and explores the challenges of being a minority in society. + The plot twist (if I could call it that) was predictable, but ultimately clever because in view of the stark and bleak overtones, an ending like the one in this story was the most logical solution and it made the overall storyline well worth the read. There’s a lot more to this story, but I would have to get into spoilers to delve more into the plot’s development and to be honest, I don’t care much about this book to do so. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE - I sensed a toxic relationship between Hope and her mother, Flora ― there was a lot of blaming and sadness to the relationship ― I’ll even go out on a whim here and say that Hope took on an instrumental and emotional parentified role here. It was heartrending having to see Hope take on a lot of physical responsibilities and suppress her needs in order to relieve her mother’s chronic anxiety and depressive mood swings. Granted, Flora had legitimate reasons to live under such a hopeless vice but at the same time, it was extremely vexing to see her lose complete interest in life altogether. It made me question her love for Hope, her maternal bond, and her outlandish rationale to say the least. - Hope comes off as a relatively strong protagonist. There were plenty of age-related problems she faced (i.e. bullying, loss of a loved one, intense familial revelations, etc.) that contributed to the growth and resolve of her character arc. However, the process was filled with an insane amount of extreme emotions. So much so, I often found myself wondering about the intended audience. AFTERTHOUGHTS: I don’t mind literary work the centers around realistic themes set in our modern-day; however, I don’t particularly enjoy or prefer the ones that circle around child negligence and parental ignorance. These types of books tend to grate on my nerves and leave me restless. Needless to say, I was reminded why I shun realistic fiction like the plague! Alas, Finding Grace was truly a gusty story (as the lovely book cover implies), however, once you begin to peel back the story’s layers, you’ll uncover a bleak and dreary tale that values drama over characterization and for obvious reasons (my chronic allergic reaction to realistic fiction) this book was simply not for me.
A great story about family and relationships. This story takes place in Vancouver and Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia in 1954. Hope Rose King and her mother Flora have moved again, into the same apartment building as her Granny. Hopt starts at a new school and has no friends, due to being a little prickly, she has difficulty making any. Hope has one friend, imaginary Grace. She constantly writes letters to this friend pouring out her thoughts and feelings. She is supposed to be doing a class assignment about her family history but knows very little about her family history. She does not know who her father is, it is just her, her mother and her granny. Her Mother just lost her job and they are forced to move once again, this time in with her Granny in her crowded apartment. Her mother has a mysterious "illness" that comes and goes and causes her to be depressed. When her Granny has a stroke and dies shortly after they move in Hope feels as if it is somehow their fault. After Granny dies, Hope finds out that Grace may not be imaginary after all. Discovering who Grace is will turn into a life changing trip for eleven year old Hope and her Mother. A great story about friendship and family relationships. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.