Cover Image: Grace

Grace

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Member Reviews

The unfolding of this story is heartbreaking. It is beautifully written with empathy and understanding of the situation. The characters are so real they jump out of the pages - two women whose pain is raw: one the birth mother, Michelle, and the other, Amelia, the hopeful adoptive mother.

Based on true stories, courtroom scenes, social services shortcomings and some very supportive individuals in the care system, the novel provides an insight into the legal process when an unmarried wayward girl at the time of her daughter’s birth decides to give her daughter up for adoption, only later to change her mind. She though is not the only person in the mix, as the father of the child decides he too wishes to care for his daughter. On the other side, we have the couple, Amelia and Piers the prospective adoptive parents, who have their own insurmountable problems. 

The story flows nicely with some unexpected twists and turns, A fantastic, totally absorbing novel. My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, Head of Zeus, for this advance copy.
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This is quite a simple idea - both sides of a story following an foster to adopt relationship - Michelle the birth mother and Amelia, the foster mother who is desperate for her own child after a still birth. 

It should come with some trigger warnings around drug use, miscarriage and abusive relationships but I really felt the tough subjects were handled really well. It felt equal parts gut wrenching and heartwarming as you followed the story. 

Thank you for the chance to read this ARC.
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As a Social Worker I have to say there is a lot of poetic licence used around the procedures and especially Court which was, while understandable from a story point of view somewhat infuriating from a professional point of view. 

That said the book really captures the immense stress put on birth parents and foster to adopt carers. It gives a real look at the reality of people’s lives and I loved how it showed that abuse is not limited to one social class. 

I really felt for Amelia and for Michelle throughout the book. They were both having to lay themselves bare, face up to the reality of their situations and fight for the child they both loved. 

Grace manages to show the complexity of care proceedings (although as I say the way it works is not entirely accurate in the book). 

I heart wrenching tale of love, forgiveness, abuse and hope.
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I really loved reading grace it was both heartwarming and gut-wrenching, told from both  Michelle (the mother) and Amelia (the foster to potential adoptive mothers) point of view and really showcased all the struggles,  problems and emotions both women were dealing and conflicted with throughout the book. The author did a good job bringing to light some of the problems and issues with and within social services and kids in the system as a foster carer and someone whose brother was a foster kid turned adopted I felt this is a topic not talked about often enough and this book was a great preview into some of the issues families and kids go through.

4.25/5 stars
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The plot for this book is interesting and not one I’ve really come across before, equally highlighting the perspectives of both foster parents and birth parents and the circumstances in which someone may put their child up for adoption. 

While I was intrigued in following the story and appreciated that background was being provided, the pace felt far too slow for me - there were some chapters that would have worked well if they were half the size. There were also some situations that felt entirely far-fetched and soap opera-esque which very slightly hampered my enjoyment.

Overall, Grace is a book I’m glad I had the opportunity to read but probably won’t be particularly memorable for me.

Thanks to Head of Zeus and Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Not for me unfortunately. I struggled to get into it or connect with the characters so never finished it as a result.
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I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me early access to this book!

I’ve been in a romance binge read lately and I was looking for something focused on something other than the romantic part, so, when I read “Grace” was about adoption, I was absolutely sold.

Overall, it’ s an interesting book, showing both the perspective of foster parents and birth parents, and which reasons take someone to give up a child. However, for me, the development was too slow. I don’t usually appreciate slow books, and this one felt particularly slow. I understand what the author tried to do, showing Michelle’s growth and that Amelia’s life wasn’t perfect, money isn’t everything. But, as far as Amelia’s story was concerned, I felt there was too much that wasn’t relevant for the main plot. I loved Michelle’s chapters and found her story way deeper than Amelia’s, which, sometimes, just felt boring.

This review will also be available on my Goodreads account and Instagram account.
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A wonderful follow up to Scott's debut 'Patience'. Nineteen-year-old mum Michelle, who has been through the care system, puts her baby Grace up for adoption. Amelia and her husband long for a family and their dreams come true when they have the chance to adopt Grace. But when Michelle decides she wants her daughter back, the courts have to decide which home is best for Grace, but only one woman can be chosen ... this novel is sensitively written and really tugs on the heartstrings.
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I really enjoyed this book - both heart wrenching and heartwarming this was the perfect mix of true drama and hopeful uplit. I loved Michelle and Amelia and was gripped by their journey! And yes, I shed some tears at the end!
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Bring tissues!  Michelle has just given birth - she is 19, a drug addict, living with her addict boyfriend, with no money for food and heating.   Amelia and Piers are desperate to adopt as they are unable to conceive.  Baby Grace is given to them to foster with a view to adopt as Michelle wishes to send Grace somewhere she can be safely cared for, having a life that she cannot provide.   This the story of the lead up the court hearing that will decide who Grace should live with forever,
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What a fantastic read .The story is so good and so well written it grabs you from the first page. Michelle is a troubled young lady who was bought up in care and has lots of problems with an abusive relationship and drugs and when she gets pregnant she decides its best for her baby to give her up for adoption . There are lots of difficulties ahead and the characters are very believable ,with love, friendships and betrayals it's a testing time for everyone Involved and will Michelle be able to turn her life around and finally find happiness. I really recommend  this book a 5🌟read
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What a fantastic book, heartbreaking in places and uplifting in others. A very emotional subject to deal with, it also makes a good point about people's perception of others, it was very interesting to see that 2 seemingly very different women were actually in the same situation. Well written and it was difficult to tell how it would end.
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I normally enjoy stories set in small communities, with romance,a touch of humour and that certain feel-good factor. This story is not really anything like that, instead covering subjects that I've had no experience of including abusive, drug fuelled relationships and the desperation of trying for a baby. Initially I just dipped into it once or twice, but found that I was increasingly drawn into it. I really felt for both Michelle, the young mother, and Amelia, the prospective foster / adoptive mother to be. The way that a book affects me is what makes the difference between a 4* and 5* review - a story such as this that affects me emotionally and makes me consider how lucky my life has been certainly deserves the latter. Overall very highly recommended, just be prepared for some soul-searching whilst reading it.
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley,however this did not influence my review of the book.
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Nineteen-year-old Michelle gives up her baby after birth, having had a traumatic time in the care system. Amelia is desperate to have a baby after the pain of infertility. This is the story of the two women battling to get custody of baby Grace. I really liked Victoria Scott's first novel Patience because it was such a specific story and had links to the author's real life (working in the Gulf states, having a sister with the rare condition of Rett Syndrome) which overcame some of the minor weaknesses in its matter-of-fact writing. This to me wasn't specific enough and so there was less to latch on to. Unlike Patience, I did not feel compelled to finish it.
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Highly recommend to anyone who is going through, or has been through the adoption process. This tale shows the process from a different angle. Highly recommend
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I wanted to love this book and I really tried but after several failed attempts to get into it, I DNF.
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The book Grace takes difficult, sad subjects and weaves something hopeful and full of meaning from them. I loved reading about the journey of two women and discovering more about their backstories, which explained how each of them had arrived at this point in their lives. This book gave me a lot to think about and now I want to read Victoria Scott’s first book, Patience.
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A gem of a story that puts you through an emotional wringer. 

Michelle really doesn’t have the sort of environment she should bring a new born into. Amelia has suffered deep sadness in her journey to become a mother. Now there’s a baby whose mother wants her to have a better life and a woman with a better life to give a child… but Michelle meets people who care about her and with them by her side, she begins to realise that maybe she can be a good mother after all. But where does that leave ‘foster to adopt’ Amelia, who loves baby Grace with everything she has?

As with Victoria’s first book, Patience, her characters face some horrendous challenges yet hope, kindness and love gets them through. 

I loved this story. The main characters are a joy (apart from the couple who aren’t) and I was so invested in the outcome that I had a mental calendar in my head wondering how the timeline might favour one or other character.

Well researched from a technical perspective, the story is also brimful of what feels like incredibly accurate emotional depictions. 

It’s a cracker of a story and my only criticism would be that I could happily have spent a little more time with Michelle and Amelia in the epilogue…

Fabulous! 

And thank you to #Netgalley and the publisher for this preview copy.
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Emotionally challenging! Victoria Scott sends you neck deep into the lives of two women battling for the most precious, Grace. She swings you like a pendulum from Michelle, Grace's teenage birth mother to Amelia, Grace's to-be-adoptive-mother. You reason with both of them and struggle to arrive at a conclusion though the court eventually does. Highly recommended to anyone wanting to gain insight into the hearts and minds of those undergoing the adoption process.

Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the eARC.
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Content Warnings: infertility trauma, loss of a child (stillbirth), sexual assault, domestic violence (physical and mental), classism, drug abuse, suicide attempt

Going into this book, I had a pretty clear image of what it would be, and I was completely right until the end, at which point… This book was honestly a little bizarre for me (but still ultimately an enjoyable read, despite the rough topics being covered).

Grace is the story of Amelia and Michelle, two women who at a surface level would appear completely different. Michelle has just given birth to baby Grace, and is set on giving her up for adoption, recognising that she is not fit to care for a child alone, and with serious misgivings about social service intervention, based on her personal experiences in care. Amelia and her husband have been dealing with infertility, something with which Amelia, who longs to be a mother, is particularly struggling. Amelia and Piers, her husband, become Grace's prospective adoptive parents on a fostering to adopt basis. The novel follows both women as Michelle decides ultimately to contest Grace's adoption.

I liked a lot about this novel. Amelia and Michelle - particularly Michelle - were very well written and developed characters. Neither of them were villainised by the narrative, and I really found myself very invested in them and their stories. As a very character focused book, this was a real selling point. I got so invested in Michelle in particular - even shed a couple tears with her towards the end of the book. 

However, I did feel there were a lot of missed opportunities here. The book never explores why Michelle decided against an abortion, which I think could have really added to the discussion the book is trying to have. I also wished the author had done more research into how adoptees feel about adoption and incorporated that into the story. I understand that Grace is a baby here, and Michelle and Amelia are the protagonists, but the emphasis is very heavily on adoption as a means for Amelia to achieve parenthood, not necessarily as doing what is best for a child. I wished that had been a little more nuanced.

The main thing with this novel though, is how absolutely mad I feel like it went towards the 70% mark. Out of nowhere in this story which seems very grounded in reality, everything starts to get a bit soap opera-y, with LOADS of new, absolutely wild information being dropped. The novel's structure swaps between Amelia and Michelle's POVs, and towards the end I really felt like I was reading two totally different books - one a gritty courtroom drama, and the other a telenovela. I stayed invested in both stories (admittedly Michelle's more so) but it did catch me a little off guard and felt a bit weird and off from how grounded the story was for the first half of the book. Also, I hate Piers with everything in me.

All in all, this was a perfectly fine read. It's disjointed nature towards the end put me off a little, but it wasn't a bad book by any means. The ending really made me smile.

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and Victoria Scott for the ARC of Grace.
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