I’m delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for the heart-warming and wonderfully engaging Grace After Henry by Eithne Shorthall. Below you can read ten reasons I think readers will love this tender, funny and emotional story.
My thanks to Corvus Books and Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the advance review copy in return for an honest and unbiased review. You can find details of the other book bloggers taking part in the tour in the banner at the bottom of this post. Check them out for more reviews and other content.
In three words: Touching, heart-warming, hopeful
Try something similar…Under an Amber Sky by Rose Alexander (click here to read my review)
About the Book
Grace sees her boyfriend Henry everywhere. In the supermarket, on the street, at the graveyard.
Only Henry is dead. He died two months earlier, leaving a huge hole in Grace’s life and in her heart. But then Henry turns up to fix the boiler one evening, and Grace can’t decide if she’s hallucinating or has suddenly developed psychic powers. Grace isn’t going mad – the man in front of her is not Henry at all, but someone else who looks uncannily like him. The hole in Grace’s heart grows ever larger.
Grace becomes captivated by this stranger, Andy – to her, he is Henry, and yet he is not. Reminded of everything she once had, can Grace recreate that lost love with Andy, resurrecting Henry in the process, or does loving Andy mean letting go of Henry?
Format: ebook, paperback (432 pp.) Publisher: Corvus Books
Published:3rd May 2018 Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Find Grace After Henry on Goodreads
Ten Reasons To Love Grace After Henry by Eithne Shortall
One – The believable and touching portrayal of the impact of losing someone close to you. The regrets – if only you’d said all the things you’d meant to say. The guilt – that if you’d done things differently perhaps events would have taken a different course. The anger – why me? The loneliness and sense of displacement in a world that suddenly seems to be missing a vital part.
Two – How Grace’s memories of the good times with Henry are cleverly evoked through fragments of their conversations that demonstrate their shared sense of humour. She-Ra as boyhood fantasy figure anyone?
Three – How Grace and Henry both loved Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and re-read it often together. (This brought a tear to my eye as my husband and I also share a love of this book, though we’ve never read it aloud to each other doing all the voices…)
Four – The Three Wise Men: the three lovely men Grace meets at the cemetery on her regular visits to tend Henry’s grave. Each of them is mourning someone close to them as well. They provide valuable companionship in love, loss, grief and memory…even if that does mean putting up with the same awful jokes every time.
Five – The incidental characters: Dermot, Grace’s boss and frustrated actor; Betty, Grace’s next door neighbour for whom the word ‘nosy’ is too inadequate a description; and Grace’s Mum and Dad, touchingly delighted by each other’s company (their planned outing to Nando’s had me choking on my tea).
Six – Grace’s dogged belief in the idea that there may be parallel worlds and existences in which there could have been a different outcome , a different life and a future together for her and Henry.
Seven – The possibility of second chances in life and in love. Who isn’t drawn to that idea?
Eight – The interesting way the author explores Grace’s conflicted feelings as she gets to know Andy and what at first seems like a miracle turns out to bring all sorts of complications and unintended consequences.
Nine – The question the novel poses: do we ever really truly know anybody? Grace thought she knew everything about Henry – the way he liked his tea, his favourite film. But it transpires there were things about him she could never have imagined.
Ten – The message of the book (at least for me) that you should cherish every moment you have with a loved one.
About the Author
EITHNE SHORTALL studied journalism at Dublin City University and has lived in London, France and America. Now based in Dublin, she is chief arts writer for the Sunday Times Ireland. She enjoys sea swimming, cycling and eating scones. Grace After Henry is her second novel. Shorthall’s bestselling debut novel, Love in Row 27, has been optioned for a TV series by NBC Universal Studios International, the production company behind Downton Abbey.
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