Monday, October 03, 2005

WITHOUT GRACE by Carol Hoenig (iUniverse)

I have to admit, not many novels bring to mind TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD--not so much because people rarely tell good stories about rural America, as much as it is such a rarity to be blown away by the writing of said country life.

But such is the case with WITHOUT GRACE by Carol Hoenig. GRACE tells the story of (and by) little Vicky Finley, at the onset of the death of her grandmother (and the only female leadership in her life.) Over time, it opens up wounds (and questions) about her own mother who mysteriously abandoned the family, and forces her to learn from (and deal with) her household of men.

The book opens: "The first time I began to understand that the words gone and dead have different meanings I was about six years old."

Ms. Hoenig so eloquently tells the tale (and so carefully grasps the mind of a child) of a girl becoming a lady, learning about ambition, being the only female in a home of strong men, and dealing with inevitable loss. The story reads like poetry and demands to be read in one sitting.

This book is dynamite--literature as it was meant to be: at its finest. Don't trust me? Well, you should, of course. But in case you need your arm twisted, this novel comes with blurbs from Malachy McCourt, Michael Malone and Rona Jaffe--not mention that iUniverse dropped this baby into its Star program prior to publication. Keep your eye on this one--that is, when they're not glued to the pages inside.