Grace River Paperback – Apr 21 2009
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Hendry is a skillful writer; the voices are subtly different from each other, serving to keep the narrative interesting and lively. —Harbour Spiel(2009-05-01)
Grace River is a company-town drama that will resonate all over the world. —Vancouver Sun(2009-05-01)
A powerful and courageous debut novel and four friends who are forced to start looking honestly at their lives, their pasts and their uncertain futures.(2009-05-01)
Hendry paints a vivid portrait of resentment and functional dysfuntion. —Vancouver Sun(2009-05-01)
Rebecca has a gift for dead-on portraits, for apt conveyances in prose of the small-town feeling. —Sunstream(2009-05-01)
[This] will be the hot new book in B.C. this year. —Coast Reporter(2009-05-01)
About the Author
Rebecca Hendry was born in Ottawa and grew up in Brockville, Vancouver, Peterborough, Montreal and Yellowknife before settling on the Sunshine Coast at age 11. Her writing has appeared in the Dalhousie Review, Event, paperplates, Room of One’s Own and numerous other literary journals. Her short story “Jesse Beautiful” was nominated for the 2003 Journey Prize. Rebecca lives in Roberts Creek British Columbia.
Top Customer Reviews
I picked this up at the library on a whim, mostly because I liked its cover. It ended up being one of my more memorable reads of this summer.
The story is narrated by four characters: Jessie, a waitress at Nick's and woman who's just grown tired of her life but doesn't know what to do about; Daniel, Jessie's abusive brute of a husband; Jackson, an old friend and coworker of Daniel's, and sort of the moral compass of the group; and Kali, an outsider who never quite fits into the Grace River community. The chapters alternate between these four characters but each of their voices is so distinct that there is never any doubt about which perspective you're getting.
I found the book really engaging and hard to put down at times. The story is presented almost as if you were a fly on the wall as things are happening. There's not a lot of exposition and back story, the author just lets things play out and the gaps are filled in as you read, through the characters' actions and how they relate to each other.
I loved having all four perspectives, especially those of Jessie and Daniel. Neither of them is happy with their marriage and they both want the same things, ultimately, but neither of them has a clue how to get there. Being able to see both sides of their relationship makes it that much more heartbreaking because you can see where each one is coming from, what they should do to make it right, and how much they both completely miss the mark.
I believe this is Hendry's first novel, so I look forward to seeing more from her. This was a pretty solid first effort.