Cover Image: Grace

Grace

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Member Reviews

I was lucky enough to be given a copy of Patience to read and review last year, so I was delighted to receive a copy of this book by the same author, Victoria Scott. It didn’t disappoint!
It tells the story of baby Grace, who is given up for adoption from birth by her mum, Michelle. The lucky couple who are chosen to be Grace’s foster to adoption family are Amelia and Piers.
Michelle has a sad life - poverty, abuse, domestic violence and drugs. Amelia and Piers have a lovely home and a stable life. What will happen when Michelle begins to regret giving up her baby?
This book is written without judgment and it’s hard to see who will be successful in the battle for Grace. As the book progresses I did feel like I was being slowly guided towards the final decision.
I loved the accuracy of the adoption process in this book. Fiction often makes it out to be quick and easy, and it’s no such thing.
I highly recommend this book.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book, well written and very thought provoking and it explains the pitfalls of adoption and I really engaged with the characters.

Thank you to Netgalley and Head of Zeus for an extremely good book which I can recommend.
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The gripping and heartbreaking second novel by the author of Patience….. The storyline kept me glued to my Kindle through the whole book! I definitely recommend reading this book!
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A heartbreaking account of a baby's birth mother, and her foster mother. After giving Grace up for adoption, her mother finally rethinks her decision after a series of traumatic events. Through both of the women's POVs, it is hard to decide whose side you're on, which is exactly the point. It's an impossible situation. It was beautifully articulated and proves that no one's life is perfect. I was satisfied with the ending too, would recommend it.
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A beautifully written novel. Showing the adoption process from both sides, this was tough subject matter but Victoria Scott approached it with real tenderness and understanding. I
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Having loved reading Patience last year, I was thrilled to have an early opportunity to read Grace.

This is a well written and emotional book. Victoria made me feel sympathy for both Amelia and Michelle. A family friend recently went through the adoption route and I know how difficult that was for the couple hoping to adopt, so it was important to see how a woman may feel about giving her child up.

This book covers tough topics including neglect, drug abuse, domestic violence but is written sensitively.. This story looks at both sides - the young mum who feels she cannot give the baby the life it deserves (and that she never had herself) and the older woman who has suffered heartbreak wanting to be a mother..

There are a few twists in the story and I was gripped by this book. Happy to recommend.
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Grace explores the tribulations of adoption exploring the various perspectives of those involved. It mostly focuses on two main characters with each chapter alternating between them. Michelle, a young girl with a troubled childhood who has recently given birth to Grace and Amelia, the hopeful mum to be. We also get insight from some of the side characters. What I liked about the book was that it make you think about the adoption process as a whole. It's easy for us to often only see one side of a situation and make quick judgements. A young teenager who got herself pregnant, involved in drugs and bad relationship, she doesn't deserve to be a mother.  A middle class woman, unable to have children, with a comfortable home and a loving husband. This book encouraged you to have empathy for those on both sides and to take a moment to think beyond what you see on the surface. There is always more to someones story, and not everything is as it seems.  On the flip side of this, I felt Victoria tried to build up some suspense with aspects of the story unfolding but I often found it quite predictable.
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Such a beautiful and challenging story about the heartache surrounding babies - having them, not having them... And all the challenges of relationships and the long term implications.
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I received an ARC, of Grace, by Victoria Scott.  I did not like the subject matter in this book.  It was heavy and depressing.  I did not think any of them should have custody of Grace.
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This is Victoria Scott's second novel and I can honestly say that she's getting better and better!!. I really enjoyed this book  from beginning to end!!. Of course once again the story follows a hard topic of adoption which seems to be Victoria's trait and she does it do well!.
The story follows a young woman called Michelle who has not had the best start in life and is expecting her first child. She believes that her baby would be better off with people who can love and look after her and give her everything she could ever want. We then find out about the foster to adopt parents Amelia and Piers.  So we see the struggle that both sides have had and will have when Michelle decides that actually she wants to have her daughter, Grace to live with her. 
If you want to read a book that makes you feel part of the story and all sorts of emotions , then this is the book for you!. 
Many thanks to Netgalley for the free ARC book for an honest review.
#Netgalley,  #headofzeus, #victoriascottauthor.
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I absolutely adored Victoria Scott’s debut and have connected with the characters in this beautiful second novel just as much! 

Amelia and her husband Piers have dreamed of having a family for years but after unbearable loss, have given up hope of it happening for them. Nineteen year old Michelle has had a very tough life and given her current situation, thinks she would be a terrible mother. So upon baby Grace’s birth, Michelle makes the difficult decision to hand over her baby even though she doesn’t want her to have the same experiences she herself had growing up in care. 

Amelia and Piers, having been approved as prospective adopters, are given the chance to care for baby Grace as ‘foster to adopt’ carers. It feels like they now have everything they have ever wanted, even though they are both aware of the possibility Grace’s mother may want her baby back. Although this is like the small print you choose to ignore, thinking it doesn’t apply/won’t happen, this is the reality that unfolds because Michelle decides she does want Grace back in her care. It will be up to the Courts to decide what is best for baby Grace. But one thing is certain, whatever the Judge’s decision, neither woman’s life will ever be the same again...

I enjoyed how this story was told via alternating chapters from the perspectives of Amelia and Michelle and how we really got to know and understand them both as the story progressed. This story is a really powerful reminder about the importance of not judging somebody by outward impressions alone too, as things are definitely not all that they seem when you delve deeper and behind closed doors!  

I felt such empathy for Amelia and Michelle and enjoyed getting such an in depth understanding of their experiences through Victoria Scott’s beautiful writing. I really cared about them both and they each learn some devastating truths as the story unfolds. I was so angry for them both for different reasons! It’s an emotional rollercoaster of a book and I was so glad to see the support and friendships both women develop. The epilogue really made me smile too and felt like the perfect end to this story. 

I also love how Victoria Scott provides us, as the reader, with such a unique insight into the lives and experiences of women like Michelle and Amelia who are both in very difficult situations. She writes about their experiences in such a sensitive way. I enjoyed reading the author’s note at the end too explaining her inspiration for exploring foster to adopt.

This is a brilliant story and I would definitely recommend Victoria’s debut Patience too, if you have not already read it!
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What a fantastic book, not my normal type of put but the reviews had me interested and i read this in a matter of days, i didn't like the cover though.
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I am new to @victoriascottauthor's writing with the e-ARC of 'Grace' but after reading 'Grace' I've already bought her previous book 'Patience' which I am really looking forward to. Thank you to the author herself, @headofzeus and @NetGalley. I know it is early in the year but I know that this stunning book will stay with me. 

In the centre of 'Grace' is a baby (Grace) who is born to Michelle, desperate, troubled and carrying her past as an invisible suit of armour around her. Spending her childhood in care, moved from pillar to post, taking drugs, getting expelled, shoplifting, suffering abuse at the hands of her boyfriend Rob, she gives birth to Grace but wants to gift her an escape from the troubled existence she has lived. 

In comes Amelia, assured, confident and desperate for a baby following her failed attempts at IVF. Although Amelia appears to 'have it all', she isn't as assured and confident as once though. Through fostering to adopt, Amelia has Grace to focus all of her attentions on but even though she has everything she's always wanted, a successful husband and the much longed-for baby, something doesn't feel quite right...

The parallel structure of this book really allows us to follow the lives of the birth parents, Michelle and Rob, and the fostering parents, Amelia and Piers. The contrast in their lives is stark and really paints a vivid and totally absorbing picture of struggle. Food banks, shoplifting, living with no heat and the gnawing hunger pains are used by Scott as a marker of just how Michelle has committed an act of love for Grace in allowing her to be with parents who don't have the same struggles. But then we have the middle-class couple, Amelia and Piers. There's no socio-economic struggle but we have the largely loveless marriage and through the depiction of Piers, we are able to root for Amelia. 

There are myriad hard-hitting topics, from drug abuse, a failing care system, physical abuse, coercive control and stillbirth to name but a few but all are written about with sensitivity. I was totally absorbed in the lives of Michelle and Amelia as well as other such vividly memorable characters, Mark, Rachel, Laura and Gillian. It is a definite ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️. I loved it and will be urging everyone to read this when published in July.
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Read and reviewed in exchange for a free copy from NetGalley.  'Grace' was fantastic.  Scott's writing was emotive and skillful, and she created real empathy for Michelle and Amelia.  A challenging topic was dealt with sensitively, the characters had clear voices, and moments were the two characters lives intertwined were done subtly yet in a way which created a sucker-punch for the reader.  A fantastic read.
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An absorbing story of a mother who gives up her baby and a couple who want to adopt. It seems straight forward until Michelle, the mother, decides she would like to keep the baby. A difficult subject handled with care and understanding. The outcome is unexpected and heartwarming. A fabulous read.
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This second book from Victoria Scott is another amazing page-turner.
Told from the viewpoint of two women, both at different ends of the same struggle, with an additional view of the judge presiding over a very heart-wrenching child custody case.
Michelle is young and has suffered considerably in that short life, at the hands of an inadept social services team, who failed her, from the moment she was separated from her younger sister at the age of six. Fast forward to her late teens, and she has found herself pregnant, in a relationship with a man who has stood by her more than any of the so-called support workers she has had assigned to her. Even his questionable behaviour towards her doesn't waiver her trust in him.
However, they're broke, live in squalor, and she knows that is no place to bring up a baby, however much she is already attached to that little being.
Amelia is a woman, in a marriage tinged with sadness at the fact that they can't have children, and the one time they thought their dream would come true ended up in the tragedy of stillbirth.
A solution to both of these women's problems could be found, in the placement of little Grace, born to Michelle. She thinks her daughter would be better off in the care of someone who could give her everything.
And that someone could be Amelia, and her husband Piers, who are approached via the Foster to Adopt scheme.
The thing is, nothing is ever that simple.
It was, indeed a roller coaster of emotions as I read the story, following the feelings of a young woman who desperately wants to get her life, and daughter back, and a woman who knows her dream is on the cusp of becoming a reality, but everything balances on the decisions of a judge, after a drawn-out investigation.
All in all, the final conclusion was what I wanted to happen, but there was so much happening in the background, as you read, even if you are of a differing opinion, you would probably agree that it was for the best. People are not always what they seem, and this book demonstrated that, perfectly.
So emotional. But brilliant.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Head of Zeus for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Victoria Scott poured her heart and soul into this book - it’s been a long time since I felt so emotional - well done and thank you. 
Melanie is 19, in a toxic relationship and equally toxic environment with Rob, her boyfriend, and she is pregnant. Having spent most of her life in the care system until she was 16 she had suffered an extremely difficult childhood. She decides to place her child up for adoption to give her a stable healthy life - a life she never had. 
Amelia and her husband are a married couple who cant have children of their own so when they get the call to tell them a newborn baby girl is available to them they are over the moon although Amelia secretly has doubts - nobody is that lucky or will the adoption be seamless. Her worst fears come true and they are told that the birth mother has changed her mind and wants her daughter back to raise her on her own. 
A family court battle has to be carried out with the judge deciding who is the most appropriate person to raise the child. 
Great but heartbreaking storyline loved it.
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What a beautiful novel. I inhaled it in two sittings, caused only by my body’s pesky insistence on falling asleep before I’d finished reading for the night. As another reviewer mentioned, don’t start this book at 9pm unless you have a day off the next day and have already taken a nap! 
Writing about adoption, fostering and the family court system without personal first hand experience shouldn’t be possible but Scott proves that it is and that is can be done well. She has taken this most polarising of subjects (and a reader who is often quick to pick a side and stick to it) and  examined it so sensitively and openly from all angles often stamping out stereotypes on the way. This is made even more incredible when I read what had first inspired Scott to write this novel in the first place. 
Another thing that I really liked about this novel wasn’t just its wonderful descriptions of Malvern and it’s eponymous hills and it’s fantastically warm and real characterisations but that so much of the story hinges on a place of worship, the Abbey and yet the book is almost entirely secular with prayer being one reason amongst many for scenes taking place there. Churches have stood in England for hundreds and even a thousand years and have been at the heart of their communities and this book with its food bank and senior’s club reminds people that this tradition continues to this day and I hope this encourages some readers to step into a church and simply enjoy the space and the people within it without being scared that they will be proselytised to. 
Although there are some male characters this book is predominantly about strong, feisty women from all walks of life, academic or career backgrounds and without seeking to make them angelic, martyred or in any way super human she has just let them shine and reminded this reviewer in particular, how powerful woman can be when they come together and work together.
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A quick and easy read that I found myself picking up after a long day to unwind. The characters are beautifully written and I came to love them within the first few pages and was rooting for them all the way to the end. At times I wanted to stop reading because I just wanted the experience to go on for longer.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Very skillfully written. An emotional but gripping read. I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend to friends.
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