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Act of Grace by Karen Simpson

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
would Grace Johnson, a bright, African-American high school senior, save the life of a Ku Klux Klansman named Jonathan Gilmore?
That question hovers over Grace's hometown of Vigilant, Michigan, and few people, black or white, understand her actions-especially since rumor has it that many years ago, a member of the Gilmore family murdered several African-American residents. And if Grace had her way, she would not reveal the circumstances that led her to make what some deem to be a foolish sacrifice and an act of treason against her race.
The decision to remain silent, however, is not Grace's to make, for the spirit of her ancestors have emerged and insist, in ways Grace cannot ignore, that she bear witness to the violent racial history that continues to divide the town of Vigilant. But when Grace discovers a century-old tale of a bloodsoaked, eye-for-eye vengeance that includes the mysterious death of her own father, she questions whether she has the ability and the will to accept the mind-bending spiritual challenge in front of her.
As Grace reluctantly embarks on the unlikeliest of journeys and into the magical world of the African-American traditions used by her ancestors to fight slavery and oppression, she undergoes a spiritual transformation that leads to the true nature of her calling: to lead Jonathan Gilmore, the town of Vigilant and her own soul on a path toward reconciliation, redemption and true grace.

Goodreads Summary

Grace has not had it easy and is looking to get out of her small town and get away from her mother.  Her mother appears to hate Grace at times for no reason, her dad passed away long ago.  Grace just wants to graduate and leave.  Grace turns eighteen and experiences an unusual event.  Her paternal side contacts her and tells her that she is special, she is able to access the spirit world.  From the spirit world she learns disturbing things about the death of her father and disappearance of town children from the past. 

Grace's character will be easy to connect to from the first couple of chapters on.  She is sweet, intelligent, and witty.  The reader will likely feel sympathy for her and root for her throughout the book.  The other characters can be either a hit or a miss depending on the reader.  The events of this book are intriguing and exciting.  The reader gets to follow Grace through her very different life and experience what Grace experiences.  The mystery behind the disappearance of the children and her fathers' death is interesting.  The undertone of the novel is filled with suspense and sets the tone of the novel for the reader.  The author's way of writing is lyrical and poetic, the reader will love the style.  This book is recommended to young adult/adult readers.

4 Stars

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