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'The wisdom and balance of Krien's writing captivates.' - Daily Telegraph
'Krien's first novel is a high-wire performance. With its vast historical rigging, epic scope, ethical complexity, and kaleidoscopic view, Act of Grace is enormously ambitious. The reader watches, breath held, as the novel unspools, but Krien's step is sure, and she does not fall.' - Australian Book Review
'One of this country's leading voices.' - The Saturday Paper
In this brilliant novel of fear and sacrifice, trauma and survival, four characters' lives intertwine across time and place. Australian soldier Toohey returns from Baghdad in 2003 with shrapnel in his neck, crippled by PTSD. A decade earlier, aspiring pianist Nasim falls from favour with Saddam Hussein and his psychopathic son Uday, triggering a perilous search for safety. In Melbourne as the millennium turns, Robbie, faced with her father's dementia and family silences that may never be addressed, begins to test boundaries. And in the present day, Gerry seeks to escape his father Toohey's tyranny and heal the wounds inflicted by it.
Crossing the frontiers of war, protest and cultural reconciliation, Act of Grace is a meditation on inheritance: the damage that one generation bestows upon the next, and the potential for transformation. It is a searing, powerful and utterly original work by an exceptional Australian writer.