Discussion #1 & Final Wrap-Up: Grace

With all our readers having finished by the time of this discussion post, let’s go ahead and lump our chat into one big discussion topic, shall we? Alrighty then! So here we go with our first and final discussion of Grace: A Novel. On with the questions, questions, and more questions:

  • Did you find the author’s depiction of society back in the 1960’s realistic?
  • How did you feel about Eric’s decision to ‘take care’ of Grace? Was it the best choice, given the circumstances?
  • Is it possible that Grace’s tragic fate could have been prevented?
  • What is your overall rating of Grace on a scale from 1 to 10 (1=worst, 10=best)?

And now… *drum roll*

Let’s give our little poll widget another try to help us tally up votes for our next book selection. Will it work this time? Or is that Chicken Lit Bookclub Administrator setting herself up for another failed attempt at a broken WordPress thingamajiggy? Only one way to find out – here goes:

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6 Responses to Discussion #1 & Final Wrap-Up: Grace

  1. * Did you find the author’s depiction of society back in the 1960’s realistic?
    Not having been born until 1970, I can only compare it to what I’ve seen on TV or read in history books. So I have to say “Yes, for the most part.” During the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, I do recall reading about bomb shelters and emergency drills being commonplace. Not only that, but children did not have the kind of protection they do now, particularly when it came to abuse and teenage pregnancy. I shudder to think about how they were treated back in the day. Thank goodness for change.

    * How did you feel about Eric’s decision to ‘take care’ of Grace? Was it the best choice, given the circumstances?
    For a squeaky clean kid like Eric (with perfect school attendance!), he was extremely gutsy for taking in Grace, a runaway with an abusive parent. I can’t fathom how a kid could actually pull that off, but I’m going with it here knowing the book is a work of fiction. Given the fact that Grace faced death at her stepfather’s hands whether she stayed home or not, it might have been the best choice for her at the time… but not so much for Eric. What if his family and/or the authorities had found out and assumed he knocked her up? The future wasn’t looking good for him in his choice to keep her hidden away in the clubhouse. But I do admire his heart.

    * Is it possible that Grace’s tragic fate could have been prevented?
    In that time & age, no. Sadly, like other defenseless children/young adults back then, it probably happened more often than anyone was willing to admit.

    * What is your overall rating of Grace on a scale from 1 to 10 (1=worst, 10=best)?
    It was good, but not great. I’m not a big fan of books that bring me down mood-wise, so this book gets a 4 from me. (Sorry, everyone.)

  2. maksbestfriend says:

    * Did you find the author’s depiction of society back in the 1960’s realistic?

    Probably, given the times, when parents were the authority, and people often looked the other way. And I did do some Googling on the laws of the day and children’s rights were really not what they are today.

    * How did you feel about Eric’s decision to ‘take care’ of Grace? Was it the best choice, given the circumstances?

    I don’t know how many kids would take that upon themselves to do something so selfless, but he clearly saw something in the girl and knew that he had to do something for her, and when he heard what happened to her, he felt that he had no choice. Probably not the best choice, but he did what he felt was best in his heart. Gave her more time on earth that is for certain.

    * Is it possible that Grace’s tragic fate could have been prevented?

    Given the fact that her mother and stepfather(monster) made it look like she was kidnapped, the police had no choice but to look for her and attempt to bring her back. My wonder is did the police look past his appearance, the homes appearance, the interaction between the wife and stepfather? Grace was going to her Aunt’s. Why didn’t she say that? Or was she really going there? Or was she resigned to the fact that one day she would be found and returned to that home. I would like to think in a perfect world that there would have been something, some sort of safety net for her and her unborn child. But I don’t know. It was 1962. Before even I was born. Society did look at what happened behind closed doors a lot differently than they do now. As is said now “It takes a village”. Maybe if had then.

    * What is your overall rating of Grace on a scale from 1 to 10 (1=worst, 10=best)?

    As sad as this story was, I do think that it is a story that needs to be told. We are a society that tells our children that all children are loved and wanted. But horrific things do happen. BUT…there are people, even children, who have been, for whatever reason, where they taught or know enough not to turn away when they sense something is not right.

    I give this an 8. I do like the way that even though this book is fiction, the writer does tell what he does for a living and what drives him to do what he does and why he was moved to write this book. It takes a very honest, open man to put that out there for all the world to read.

  3. @maksbestfriend – I agree with all of your answers, bravo! As for the book rating, based on what you said I would give a higher rating. But I’m into reading books with uplifting content, so this is not a novel I would’ve chosen for entertainment. However, if I were looking for more of a ‘truth in fiction’ novel, this one would’ve scored higher.

  4. maksbestfriend says:

    Definitely agreed with you on that. I just started The Christmas Sweater on this cold cold morning here. It is already down to 36!

  5. Dory says:

    Hi….. always the last to post! ;o)

    * Did you find the author’s depiction of society back in the 1960’s realistic?

    I was born in 1966 so it only relates to what I’ve heard of that time era. I think it falls right in line with what I knew.

    * How did you feel about Eric’s decision to ‘take care’ of Grace? Was it the best choice, given the circumstances?

    I wonder if it was sort of like *taking in a stray* – in many ways. He was too young to realize the consequences of his actions – long term. He just acted sort of on impulse, like getting a new pet that you’d hide from your parents. I don’t know if he understood what was really happening with her at first – and then he was so enamored with her – he really quit thinking.

    * Is it possible that Grace’s tragic fate could have been prevented?

    Oh my goodness. I would like to think that YES, absolutely it could have been prevented. If she’d said something, instead of allowed herself to be led away. But, in reality – probably not. Who would have believed her, a kid – after her parents put on a good show about kidnapping? I think so many things were taboo topics and *hush hush* that it might have been a very common thing within the confines of dysfunctional families that people just didn’t realize (or turned a blind eye to) it’s happening.

    * What is your overall rating of Grace on a scale from 1 to 10 (1=worst, 10=best)?

    Well. I tell ya…. this book really broke my heart. I didn’t find it to be a *happy* Christmas story at all…. on the heels of our fun *chick lit* books we’d been reading… it was really different. But…. that being said – I like the fact that it was a bold hard story. If it will make one person who reads it to look at life differently – that makes it worth it.
    It reminds me why, in my line of work, WHY I go the extra mile for those that appear to be the *lesser of these* (well, for everyone really but especially those that appear needy), who need kindness and caring. I might be the only kind person they encounter in their day. I might be the only one that says something positive. I might be the only one that listens to them. It could happen… I don’t know their circumstances. So…. even though it saddened me on several levels – it also reminded me of my commitment to serve others. That sounds weird, because I’m sure I didn’t explain what I meant very well. I know what I want to say but can’t get it out! Darn!

    So, overall – I rate it – middle of the road: 5.

  6. @Dory – I think I understood! Thanks for reading & taking the time to post, as it was especially great to read about how this book hit home for you in your profession. I can’t imagine all that you face from day-to-day, but I do appreciate having caring people like you in this world who serve the call. This book really forced us to step outside of our comfort zones and take a look at some serious issues – kudos to @Becca for the challenge! 🙂

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