We All Need Grace

 

It’s been a month since my last post.  I have been busy writing short stories and submitting them to different journals and e-magazines.  I’ve been writing my novel, and I finished one writing class on plot and have begun another on creating characters.  And I’ve been reading. A LOT.  So, though my blog here has been dormant for a while, my writing has certainly been anything but.

My reading goal for this year is 70 books.  I’m definitely going to surpass that number within the next month.  Of the 60 books I’ve read this year, this is one of the best so far.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’m going to post the review I wrote on Goodreads.  So, enjoy!

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“So, I don’t know how many generations on American soil you got to live before you’re called “American,” or if English has to be your first language. No matter, negroes may always be foreigners.”

“The world is too big and too strange now, they believe, and without a conflict or war holding us up, leaders are uneasy. They have the weight of the world on their shoulders and they need straps. Without them, they feel something is wrong. They could be exposed as naked at any time. Vulnerable. They need to feel secure in something familiar and taut. The strain of one thing pulling against another. This is what the new America needs to feel normal, with the wrong question being asked over and over again, “How can we have peace without suspenders?” Not, “How can we have harmony and not need suspenders?” A silly question to too many, so we get more suspenders. And now, our men and their strain are inseparable.”

Yes, this is the beautiful language that flows like a river throughout Grace by Natashia Deon.

She beautifully reveals the breadth, depth, and width of the brutal terrors that slavery and the Civil War inhumanely doled out on anyone cursed with the GIFT of being Black in this country during that time period.

And yet.

Grace also shows the love, strength, and supernatural resiliency of a people who didn’t have the basic human right of belonging to themselves. And makes me proud to be a Black woman.

Naomi, Josey, Charles, Jackson, and Sissy were raw, real, flawed, and beautiful. They each found their own ways to adapt to unspeakable crimes committed against them. They showed in different ways how a people can remain human in a world that tries to beat the humanity out of them.

The author beautifully conveys the strength of a mother’s love and how it can defy any boundaries, including death. She also makes you see the worlds that the antagonists in this book come from. She shows you that they have backstory, too, and that though cruel, they too, are still human (and my reaction to that was so visceral).

Deon has masterfully woven a tale of complex characters that any person of any color can relate to. She also took the story one step further and gave each character, evil or beautiful, their own measure of grace.

This book belongs in your personal library.

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