*AD-Gifted: I received a copy of Grace and Serenity in exchange for this post.
Today I’m on the blog tour for Annalisa Crawford’s Grace and Serenity. A dark and contemporary novel that will touch your heart. Thanks to Rachel over at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the blog tour and alerting me to this great book! As you know I also have a fondness for books set in Cornwall and authors from Cornwall like Annalisa, so always happy to support them on their writing journey.
Living on the streets is terrifying and exhausting. Grace’s only comforts are a steady stream of vodka, and a strange little boy who’s following her around.
At nineteen, Grace has already had a child and endured an abusive marriage. But she’s also had her baby abducted by her vengeful husband and been framed as a neglectful mother. Even her own parents doubted her version of the story. So she did the only thing that made sense to her—run away.
The streets are unforgiving. Winter is drawing in. And Grace isn’t prepared for the harsh realities of survival. At her very bleakest, a Good Samaritan swoops into her life and rescues her. With a roof over her head and food in her stomach, she longs to see her baby again.
But nothing ever comes for free.
What I Thought
Grace and Serenity isn’t my normal read, but what drew me to the book was the intriguing-sounding blurb. I felt drawn to Grace and her life situation. Which I will just add, isn’t her fault.
Grace met her future husband Neil at a ” stupid party” when she was 16. At 17 she had to tell him she was pregnant. This is at the start of the book, and where you first discover how cruel and mean Neil is. Grace had a dream of going to university and studying to be a journalist, but things were now going downhill fast. She was losing her friends and feeling alone. Neil doesn’t want anything to do with her… at the moment.
On Grace’s 18th birthday he’s back in the picture and proposes. Married life isn’t quite what Grace imagined it to be. Neil becomes possessive and doesn’t want her to see her best friend Janie. This is where I properly begin to get afraid for Grace. Little Serenity is a crying baby and Grace finds it hard to keep up with her’s and Neil’s needs.
Domestic abuse is a prominent theme in Grace and Serenity. I dislike her husband with a passion. He’s not a nice character at all. From the start, I could see how a devious man he was and generally mean.
The novel has shortish chapters which make it easier reading and told from Grace’s point of view. I think this makes it so much more realistic and you feel the pain she is going through. Domestic violence is a hard topic to read about.
Grace and Serenity get a 4 out of 5 stars from me.
Annalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall, UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, and dog.
Crawford writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories, with a hint of the paranormal.
Over the years, she has won several competitions and had many short stories published in small press journals and online. Highlights include being placed 3rd in the Costa Short Story Award 2015 and being longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and Bath Short Story Award in 2018.
Social Media Links
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/annalisacrawford.author
Why not head over and check out the other blogs on the tour?
Where To Buy
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.
You can check out my book case of past reviews here.