A Novel

eBook - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"For a runaway slave in the 1840s south, life on the run can be just as dangerous as life under a sadistic Massa. That's what fifteen-year-old Naomi learns after she escapes the brutal confines of life on an Alabama plantation. Striking out on her own, she must leave behind her beloved Momma and sister Hazel and takes refuge in a Georgia brothel run by a freewheeling, gun-toting Jewish madam named Cynthia. There, amidst a revolving door of gamblers, prostitutes, and drunks, Naomi falls into a star-crossed love affair with a smooth-talking white man named Jeremy who frequents the brothel's dice tables all too often. The product of Naomi and Jeremy's union is Josey, whose white skin and blonde hair mark her as different from the other slave children on the plantation. Having been taken in as an infant by a free slave named Charles, Josey has never known her mother, who was murdered at her birth. Josey soon becomes caught in the tide of history when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaches the declining estate and a day of supposed freedom quickly turns into a day of unfathomable violence that will define Josey--and her lost mother--for years to come. Deftly weaving together the stories of Josey and Naomi--who narrates the entire novel unable to leave her daughter alone in the land of the living--Grace is a sweeping, intergenerational saga featuring a group of outcast women during one of the most compelling eras in American history. It is a universal story of freedom, love, and motherhood, told in a dazzling and original voice set against a rich and transporting historical backdrop"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Berkeley, CA : Counterpoint, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781619027725
Characteristics: 1 online resource (402 pages)


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 08, 2017

This book is written in beautiful prose, yet grips the reader like a suspense thriller. The book begins with a black woman running for her life while she is in labor. She does not survive in this life, but is our narrator for the remainder of the book -- "watching over" her little girl. Alternating chapters show are flashes of Naomi's life before we meet her in Chapter 1.

There are many lovely quotes already highlighted in this Goodreads entry. I would like to add another:

"I'm covered in sky.
It passes over us in a baptism of colors: blues, whites, and the yellow sparkle of sunshine.
I want to stay here forever."

Mar 31, 2017

At first I sort of found how the story jumped around to be annoying but then it all came together. Loved the ending and it was a page-turner all the way.

DBRL_ANNEG Dec 22, 2016

Readers who enjoy historical fiction that is colored with a bit of magical realism will want to check out this book. This is a lyrical story that follows the lives of a slave and her daughter. It capture the essence of the horrors they experienced, both as slaves and as newly freed people of color. I enjoyed this novel, particularly as it raced towards its intense conclusion.

Dec 14, 2016

Recommended on Book Riot "All the Books" podcast:

Episode #85: Favorite Novels of 2016

Jul 25, 2016

This is the best book I have read in a long long time. Some will read it and say, it is not credible, others will say, things like that only happened in the South a long, long time ago. Things still happen like that to women and children, here and now.

Read this, let it break your heart open.

LPL_KateG Jun 16, 2016

Goodness, this book is beautiful and intense. I was blown away by the narrative - emotional, thought-provoking, and surprising in several places. This is excellent historical fiction that addresses racism, sexism, violence, the importance of family, and forgiveness.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at APL

To Top