We live on a farm with a lot of buildings. Some of the adults call it a compound, others a camp. I’m not sure who my father is, but I must have at least forty brothers and sisters. Everything is the same day after day. We play outside, we come indoors for school, and every night we sit together in the barn and the man talks about God and Satan.
Grace Willingdon has everything she needs. For fifteen years she’s lived in a trailer overlooking Bras d’Or Lakes in postcard-perfect Baddeck, Cape Breton, with Fletcher Parsons, a giant teddy bear who’s not even her husband. But Grace’s blissful life is rudely interrupted when her estranged son calls from New York City worried about his teenaged daughter.
Before she knows it, Grace finds herself the temporary guardian of her self-absorbed, city-slicker granddaughter, Melissa. Trapped between a past she’s been struggling to resolve and a present that keeps her on her toes, Grace decides to finally tell her story. Either the truth will absolve her, or cost her everything.
Crackling with Lesley Crewe’s celebrated wit and humour, Amazing Graceis a heartfelt tale of enduring love and forgiveness, and the deep roots of family.
“Oh, how I loved this book! From the first sentence I was hooked and I couldn’t (and didn’t) put it down….Grace is a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is, swear like-a-sailor woman. She is absolutely amazing. If you only buy one book this year, I highly recommend Amazing Grace.”
– Marie Murphy, Edwards Book Club
The whole point of going to this wearisome church meeting is to ask the woman in charge of lunch how she makes her coconut balls. Fletcher loves them. I know damn well she’s leaving something out of the recipe; I cannot replicate the delicate texture no matter how hard I try. And that ticks me off.
All of these church women give me indigestion, but dang, if you want something down around this rural community, go ask the seventy and eighty-year-olds who frequent the parish halls in their aprons. At sixty, I’m pretty much the youngster in the crowd, and they know I’m not the religious type, but they’re so hard up for fresh blood and volunteers, they tolerate me.
Up to a point.
Last year at the Christmas tea and sale, I was so frustrated at the woman dithering in front of the fruitcakes, I blurted, “Jesus Christ, take me now.” The ladies gathered round in case I trembled with ecstasy and crashed to the floor. They were mightily displeased when they realized that wasn’t my problem. The city slicker and her wallet left in a huff, and I got a lecture from the eighty-two-year-old selling her woollen mittens.
I bought the fruitcake and a pair of mittens and gave them a twenty-dollar donation.