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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book Review - "A Touch of Grace" by Lauraine Snelling

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Back Cover Description
Eighteen-year-old Grace Knutson loves Blessing, North Dakota, and sees no reason to leave. She's more serious-minded than her twin sister, Sophie, and very sensitive to the feelings of others. In spite of her family's disapproval, Grace has always had a soft spot in her heart for Toby Valders, for she's seen the vulnerable side he keeps well hidden.

Jonathan Gould, the handsome scion of a wealthy New York family, creates a flurry of anticipation and speculation when he arrives in Blessing. Jonathan's father wants him to learn the value of manual labor and to appreciate the accomplishments of those not born to wealth. Surprisingly, the "city boy" takes to farm life and actually enjoys working from dawn to dusk alongside the others. Soon he finds himself inexplicably drawn to gentle, courageous Grace.

This is a gentle, inspirational novel set during the turn of the 20th century that will whisk you from a small prairie town to the bustling city of New York. The things I liked about this book were the various points of view, the deep characterization of not only the main characters, but several of the secondary characters. and the historical detail of how people reacted to new inventions. 

Grace, the heroine is unique in that she is deaf and must not only learn to cope with her disability in a new, unfamiliar place, but dig deep into the courage inside her to share her vast knowledge and coping skills with other deaf students through her teaching job. The characters' faith is shown throughout the novel and how they rely on their beliefs to make decisions and overcome life's difficulties.

Since this is the first book I've read by Lauraine Snelling and the third book in a series, it was a little difficult for me to get into it from the beginning. I had a sense that I was missing some background knowledge from the first two books. It does help that there is a family tree listed at the beginning of the novel. The book began to pick up for me when Jonathan saved Grace's life. The romance is a little slow as there is a love triangle--Grace believes herself in love with a friend from childhood, while Jonathan is in love with her and must exercise lots of patience, understanding, and persistence. Theirs is a gradual love, not the kind of relationship where the sparks fly and lots of tension exists between them, but more like the "Love Comes Softly" themed romance. 

Overall, I enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to others, especially if you like prairie type romances and turn of the century settings.

Read more about the author, Lauraine Snelling.

Purchase A Touch of Grace on Amazon, here.