Writer’s Digest Contest for Self-Published Authors

What did you like best about Tides of Grace: BOOK 1 of THE GRACE SEXTET

The novel is both moving and entertaining.  The author does a magnificent job of transporting the reader back to the life of a girl in St. Louis a hundred years ago.  The novel begins with a literal bang, the shotgun blast with which Grace’s father takes his own life.  It’s typical of the novel’s strategy of intensification that Grace discovers her father’s body and gets his blood on herself on the same day she has her first period.  Sexuality is the engine of this machine, and the author depicts various scenes of Grace’s erotic awakening (and it’s no accident that she reads Kate Chopin’s The Awakening):  spying on her friend Dottie and Willy through an open window as they’re about to have intercourse, masturbating outdoors, having sex with her teacher in a closet at school, and taking Aunt Lydia’s “oily, green liquid” to induce an abortion.  The novel applies a contemporary sense of values (including how white people should refer to black people) to American life in 1907.  I think this revisionist approach is refreshing, a way of both righting some wrongs and making the novel more accessible to readers today.  The dialogue is brilliantly rendered, with each character speaking in a distinctive, identifiable way.  It’s a wonderful novel by a gifted author who clearly has more in mind for Grace, her brother Damien, and her friends Dottie and Cornelia in the planned sextet.

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