Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for sending me an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Survive the year.
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.
In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.
Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.
With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between. (Goodreads)
Wow, this book! I couldn’t put it down. It was fantastic, from the world-building to the characters to the story itself, everything. The whole mystery of the Grace year got me interested and then once the story got going it got even better!
This book is marketed as the next Handmaid’s tale, and while I understand that comparison a little, it isn’t the same. This book takes place in a fictional world similar, I imagine, to our 1800s. I also got some Crucible vibes, with the magic and the hysteria.
I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but I greatly enjoyed the resolution of the story. As with many books, especially those based on history, reading this as a woman was a little difficult. But this story gave me hope as well.
This was a wonderful book and I am so grateful that I was able to read it.
Overall Rating: 4
Release Date: 10/8/19