Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Subtle Grace - Book Review

When author Ellen Gable asked if I would be willing to read and review her novel, A Subtle Grace, I immediately agreed. I am a sucker for the inspirational romance genre; the publisher's review indicated this novel stood above the competition.

A Subtle Grace is a sequel to In Name Only, which I haven't yet read. A Subtle Grace can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story, though, which is a testament to good writing. Books that rely on cliffhangers to engage the reader in the next book in the series suggest that the characters themselves are not interesting enough to hold one's interest. Ellen Gable has a talent for creating diverse characters whose lives draw you in and make you want to follow their stories.

Set at the end of the 19th century, A Subtle Grace focuses on the two oldest children of the O'Donovan family, Kathleen and William, as they discern the vocations to which God is calling them. Kathleen's pride and impatience blind her to God's path initially; as she recovers from her folly, she must learn the value of trust. William believes he hears God's voice, but must balance his discernment with the decrees of the Church. Both young adults grow in wisdom during the three years covered in this novel.

Writing of a devout Catholic family in the late 1800s, Ellen Gable has done her research well. The book is full of historical details and reflects a working knowledge of the Church during that period. The characters' words and actions reflect well their upbringing in that place and time with no lapses to jar the reader out of the story. A Subtle Grace is also a well-edited book - no typographical errors, no dragging passages, and no incomplete plot lines. I appreciate the attention to detail evident in such a work!

A Subtle Grace is indeed a cut above typical inspirational romances. With a solid plot line and a cast of excellent supporting characters, this novel has much to offer. I finished the 400+ pages in just two evenings of reading! To buy your own copy and view Ellen Gable's other works, visit her Amazon page here.

I was provided a review copy of A Subtle Grace in order to write this review. No other payment or compensation was received. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.