This I Know

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

Such an interesting historical, set in the 1960's with just a hint of whimsey. Such a joy of a book, I will be recommending.
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Eldonna Edwards has created a strong female character in the form of Grace Carter, a young girl with a special gift. Edwards' own gift is in creating memorable characters and touching stories. A poignant coming of age debut from a talented storyteller.
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*Thanks to the publisher for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. 
"This I Know" is the story of Grace, and 11-year-old girl able to see into the future and know things that she shouldn't be aware of. Her father, a pastor, thinks her gifts of from the devil, and refuses to let Grace talk about what she sees. This book, set in a small mid-western town in the 1960's, is on my new "favorites" list. Edwards is able to magically get inside the mind,, and channel the thoughts and feelings of, a pre-adolescent girl. Reading brought back many memories of moments, long ago, when I experienced the same feelings, feeling I haven't thought about for 40 years. This is a fabulous novel that should be on your summer reading list!
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Grace is absolutely amazing!! She is clairvoyant, which she calls "the knowing". This is very hard growing up with a preacher father, who does not believe in Grace or her gifts. Grace manages to be loving and accepting to everyone around her, even while not getting much acceptance from very many others. This story is inspiring and heartwarming. Grace will be hard to forget.
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This I Know by Eldonna Edwards is about a young girl with a strict pastor father and a mother struggling with depression. When Grace was born her twin brother, Isaac did not survive. Though not with her brother physically, Grace is able to communicate with him. Isaac provides peace and comfort to Grace amidst a struggling family. Grace not only has the ability to communicate with her dead twin but also can see into the thoughts and future of other people. As Grace grows up and her family continues to struggle Grace figures out her place in the world around her and at home. 

I loved the look into this family’s life. Especially the parents. They both had struggles they had to overcome and had to make changes for the good of their family. I enjoyed their progress and the mistakes they made along the way. It felt very true to life. While the growth of the parents felt true to life there were many other things in this book that did not feel that way. Incidents that just felt a little to unbelievable to me. These incidents had nothing to do with the Knowing, or clairvoyance, that Grace has. Grace was a cute character and I would really have liked to have seen more character development with her. There were also a lot of characters that showed up for just a few pages. In many ways each chapter  felt like a separate story and it wasn’t really until the end that there was any kind of connectedness within the story. There were also events that I thought would give the story some climax but they passed to quickly to provide any climax. 

This wasn’t a story I loved but it also wasn’t a story I didn’t like. It would make a great easy, quick read. Those times when you want to read something but you don’t want to put much emotion or get caught up in high plot tension. Its a nice easy feel good read.
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A heart-warming story of a girl who can predict the future. 

Grace has the knowing, meaning she is able to see the future. She knows what will happen. If seen positively, it is a very wonderful gift as it can prevent disasters and even save lives. But her father, a preacher, sees this negatively as the devil's work. She then gets scolded whenever she shows her ability. 

Will she find a way to convince her father that the knowing is a gift and not a curse? 

Beautifully written and elaborately told, this story will linger in your mind long after the last page has been turned.
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I loved this book so much! Grace, the main character, has the gift of 'knowing' (the ability to foretell the future). As the daughter of a preacher, this gift is not received well. She is also able to communicate with her twin who died at birth. She dearly longs to be baptized but there's hesitancy on her Father's part due to the 'knowing '  (which he considers a sin). 
Edwards has created characters that are believable and full of heart. This is one of those books that I hated to see end. 
Eldonna Edwards is a new author for me but one that just plopped on my 'catch every new release' list. 
I received an Advance Review Copy. All opinions are my own.
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It takes a lot of energy to try to be what you aren't, but even more not to be what you are.

Set in the American Midwest from the mid sixties, this coming of age story centers itself around Grace - middle daughter of a pastor and his wife, twin sister to a boy who died during birth. Grace has a Knowing; frequently she knows things that are happening elsewhere, or that have happened to the people or objects she touches.

It's a bittersweet mixture of a story, running the length of the emotional spectrum from tragedy to joy. The description of Grace lying under the family's Christmas tree, in particular, was so evocative that I teared up a little from the wave of nostalgia that came over me. 

A book to read when you need to retreat from the world a bit, or if you are looking to lose yourself in a world where things (and they do get pretty bleak in spots) will turn out ok. I loved it!

Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for providing a free copy in return for an honest review.
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Memorable coming of age story, Grace Carter's story will stay with you a long time floating to the forefront of your consciousness with twinges of poignancy and hope. Grace has known loss since her birth and the death of her twin brother, Isaac. 

Grace has also been gifted with what she calls "The Knowing," except she doesn't consider it a gift not does her fundamentalist preacher father. Being able to talk to Isaac steadies her path through the tragedies and loss in her life. Yet, this isn't a sad story at all. Grace's goodness and innate wisdom shine through.

Highly recommended!
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One of my favorites of 2018! Genuinely told through the voice of a little girl named Grace, this story literally melted my heart. It contains a lot of religious undertones that really focus on what faith and belief really mean. It’s not preachy, just a beautifully poignant novel that will leave you feeling warm inside. Fans of Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger should place this at the top of TBR lists. 5 stars.
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Eleven-year-old Grace has a beautiful gift that she calls the Knowing. However, her strict religious father sees it as something that belongs to the devil. Grace can talk to her twin brother who died at birth, she can see important parts of someone's past and future and she knows what people feel and think if they let her. Even though her father wants her to ignore what she can do, she grows up using it wisely. Grace's father is an Evangelical pastor, who fears his daughter's amazing capabilities. He treats her with contempt and excludes her whenever he can. Grace fights hard for his approval, but will she ever get it?

In Grace's small hometown something terrible is happening. Grace knows she'll be able to find out more about this, but her father won't allow her to help. How can she find a way around his rules? Grace's sisters don't have the same abilities and her mother can't cope with the grief life has given her. Grace's only support comes from her aunt Pearl who only occasionally visits. Grace's school friend Lola and homeless man Lyle are the only ones who really know her. When her mother checks out from family life completely Grace's father makes life increasingly difficult for his daughter. What will Grace do, it will be hard to hide her gift from him, especially since she doesn't see it as something wrong, but as something good. Can she ever convince him?

This I Know is a beautiful moving story. Grace is a sweet girl with a big heart. She's smart, wise and capable. She also has a special gift. The Knowing is something precious, she can help people with what she sees and feels. I loved how Grace makes up her own mind about her abilities instead of letting others make the decision for her. Grace's religious father constantly pressures her and punishes her in all kinds of ways for being different. This makes Grace sad, but she remains strong, she never wavers and I greatly admired her for it. Regular home life is a struggle for Grace, but she bears it and never complains. I absolutely loved this amazing girl and enjoyed her story immensely.

Eldonna Edwards has a fantastic engaging writing style. This I Know is a magical story that touched my heart. I loved the vivid descriptions of Grace's surroundings, family and friends, the gorgeous gift she has been blessed with and the fantastic open way she sees the world. I was entranced from beginning to end. I love it when a story enchants me completely and This I Know is a book that will stay with me for a very long time. Eldonna Edwards has written an incredibly precious and thought-provoking novel. I highly recommend this brilliant story.
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Grace is the daughter of a fire and brimstone preacher. She has a gift that she calls the Knowing. It allows her to see things that other people cant. Grace is 11 and has to face the normal challenges of that age along with trying to convince her father that she is not the devil. She makes an unlikely friend in a bum named Lyle, and a spunky girl named Lola. Together everyone tries to help Grace understand and learn about her special gift.

The story is well written and easy to follow. If you liked Secret Hum of a Daisy you will LOVE this book. I don't usually read books more than once, but this one is deffinately going on the short list of books that I will.
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A touching story that took me by surprise; It was a emotional ride and I am so happy to have read it
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What a wonderful story. Young Grace just captured my heart. She has the knowing, she sometimes knows things before they happen. Her prescher father tries to stop her from letting people know she has this knowledge, convinced it comes from the devil. Grace and her mother, however, know different. Her mother once had the same power, but was forced by life to squelch this gift. Grace makes friend with a homeless man, a man who has suffered much. A man who will be accused of terrible things. Grace knows he is a kind man who has had misfortune in his life. One of my favorite lines in this book, a quote that made me think, is one that is said by Grace to this man.

"People think that because you don't have a house, that you don't have a heart. "

Sometimes the younger are more wise than the elder. This family is full of love but also suffers some great tragedies. Grace though refuses to give up, and uses her gift for good, in the only way she can. If only her family can pull through, and her father can see that what she has can be used for good. 

ARC from Netgalley.
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This I know by Eldonna Edwards is a story that captures intense family dynamics and drama and couples it with the paranormal/spirituality. 
I picked up this book after reading a preview in a couple of Buzzbooks. The concept itself did not really appeal to me, but within a few pages I knew I really enjoyed the writing style. The book opens up being narrated by a fetus hanging out in the womb with her twin brother. If anyone else would have written this book I'm sure that would have been enough for me to not want to finish. Eldonna Edwards wrote in a way that not only did the womb scene not chase me off, it grabbed my attention and left me needing more. While the plot was interesting, and fairly quickly paced, Edwards storytelling is what made this captivating for me. There were many aspects of this book that PERSONALLY would not appeal to me conceptually, but Eldonna Edwards made me feel invested. This was an interesting story written by an incredible story teller.
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I enjoyed the book. It was easy to love Grace. Grace is the daughter of a preacher, she is psychic and can know things which happened in the past, and which will happen in future. Her father considers this evil, you could feel Grace's conflict. I loved the characters and the plot
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This is a new to me author and would enjoy reading more books of hers. This book has a young protagonist, Grace coming of age in the late 1960's. Her father is a preacher with a strong message in his speeches. Grace learns how to hide things, like the fact that she has the gift of The Knowing as she calls it. She can read people's minds, but only with their permission or know what has happened by touching an article that belongs to them. To her preacher father it's close to witchcraft. Her mother is so weak and also has postpartum depression after having so many children that after her last birth a beautiful baby girl she is unable to care for her children. The children take care of each other when their aunt is not there caring for them. When a young blind girl goes missing will Grace use her gift to help solve the case or will she ignore her gift in favor or a normal life that is expected of her?
Pub Date 24 Apr 2018
I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington Books through NetGalley, thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.
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4 memorable stars to This I Know! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Grace is a well-suited name for this strong, resilient, lovable daughter of a fundamentalist preacher father and an absent mother with significantly failing health. She has a gift she calls “the Knowing,” which adds to her difficulties because her father doesn’t trust her.  

Grace lives for her father’s approval, but her gift is something he cannot accept because he thinks it’s from the devil. Will Grace give up part of herself in order to be and obedient “good” child and fit in with her family? 

Grace crawled right into my heart, and her characterization was honest to the core. While the indomitable Grace is at the center of this novel, there is also an intricately woven and satisfying plot. Edwards writes with beautiful prose and endearing heart. 

Bottom line, I adored Grace and this exceptional, stand-out of a book! 

Thank you to Eldonna Edwards, Kensington Books, and Netgalley for the ARC. This I Know is available now!
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This I Know is a mix of historical fiction, paranormal, and coming-of-age that sounds fantastic in premise but suffers in execution and left me grinding my teeth in distaste.

Set in 60's and 70's midwest U.S., it stars an eleven-year old girl named Grace who is rather quite extraordinary. First of all, she has an ability that she calls "The Knowing," though others may call it clairvoyance or telepathy. It works as it sounds--Grace knows things most people don't. She can pick up people's stray thoughts, their desires, and even their future--like what bra size a girl would end up wearing as an adult. Secondly, she's connected to the spirit (or soul) of her twin brother who had died shortly after birth--and by "connected" I mean "have full conversations with." The story is about Grace struggling to find her place in a family and town that views her with skepticism and fear.

There was a lot to love about it in the first half. Grace's narration is incredibly charming and funny without coming across as cheeky. She does sound as a little too mature for an 11-year old and I oscillated between "This narrative voice is so great!" and "No kid sounds like this, however psychically gifted they are." She uses words like "dilapidation" and complex metaphors that many adults wouldn't even think of. I've known some incredibly smart and well-spoken kids, but it was still a bit jarring. After a while, though, I ended up burying my skepticism and started enjoying it for what it was. And Grace is an easy character to love. She's a compassionate girl with a great sense of humour and I love the way she picks out the small details in people--the interesting ways with which she describes their looks and their personalities.


    Earl is a farmer who spends a lot of time in the sun. The back of his neck has crisscross crinkles that make me want to stick cloves in it like an Easter ham. 


Now here comes the negatives.

The plot--there isn't much of it. Most of the story deals with Grace's daily life in town as she helps out people and tries to fit in among her somewhat dysfunctional family. While this doesn't normally bother me in coming-of-age stories, my problem with This I Know is that it half-heartedly tries to throw in a plotline--a mystery regarding a man who's been assaulting young girls around town-- in the last 20% of the story. A half-formed, uninteresting plotline that fizzles out in the very definition of anticlimax.

Also, the side characters lack depth. Grace's father starts out as a fire and brimstone preacher, strict to the point of stifling, and a neglectful father. He continues that way up until the very last moment where he does a complete 180 and becomes a changed man. Grace's three sisters spend most of the story picking on Grace and not much else. As for the mother, it would have been great to see her postpartum depression explored but unfortunately, she's very much absent for a large chunk of the book.

Third and final point, and what ultimately ended up plummeting the score: queerbaiting. I was so sure that Grace was going to come out as queer by the end of the book--if not to the town, then at least to herself. Throughout the book she's constantly noting how beautiful and gorgeous other girls are and admiring their figures and wanting to touch their breasts. But then, near the end, when her best friend Lola kisses her, she recoils and says (to paraphrase), "Sorry but no. Being gay is a sin." Which is rather rich coming from a girl who can see the future and talk to dead people. If that doesn't get you tossed into Satan's fiery pits, I highly doubt kissing a girl would. There is little point to this scene except to shove Lola into the role of a temptress and Grace into the role of the pure Christian girl who is Definitely Not Gay.

But what really put the nail on this coffin is the ending (minor spoilers here), where we find out that Grace eventually gets married to a boy named Robin who appears in a total of two short scenes throughout the entire book. They marry, build a house for themselves, have a beautiful baby boy, and live happily ever after. I nearly threw my tablet in disgust at this point.

The obvious lesson we're supposed to take from this story is that we should examine the world with an open mind and treasure our differences. But in a story where heteronormality is celebrated at the expense of LGBTQ characters, such lessons come tainted with hypocrisy.

Thank you to Netgalley and John Scognamiglio Book for providing a review copy.
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“Sometimes I wish I could catch Mama’s voice in a jar and keep it beside my bed at night, let each note light the darkness like a captured firefly.”

Eldonna Edwards makes her debut with the best written child protagonist since Scout Finch appeared in To Kill a Mockingbird. Many thanks go to Net Galley and Kensington Books for the digital review copy. 

Grace Carter is eleven years old, one of several daughters of a strict evangelical preacher.  Her mother has come undone, slowly unraveling from grief that began with the death of Grace’s twin brother, Isaac. Grace misses Isaac, too, but she has the comfort of his counsel; she hears and knows things that most other people do not. Her mother and Aunt Pearl call it “the knowing”, but her father calls it the work of the devil. Grace grows up understanding that she must keep her head down and avoid getting into trouble. It’s a treacherous path, and now and then things pop out, as they will with adolescents. 

Edwards is a gifted writer, and she’s tackled an ambitious project in writing a first person narrative. It’s hard to voice a child in a way that is developmentally appropriate and consistent, and she’s nailed it spot on. Many writers would try to dodge this literary obligation by creating a precocious, academically gifted character, which is so common that it’s clichéd, and as I read this story and see that Grace is just an average kid, apart from her supernatural talent, I hold my breath to see if she can carry it off all the way through, and she does it masterfully. The way Edwards develops Grace, adding layers to her personality and melding it with the dead-accurate setting—the Midwest during the 1960s—makes her one of the most exciting new voices to emerge this generation.  The plot never slows, but with a character and setting this resonant, Edwards could send Grace to sit in her closet for the whole book and her readers would be captivated regardless.

I would have preferred a more nuanced ending, but it’s a small concern. Everyone that loves strong fiction will want this book. Order yours while you can get it on the first printing.
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