Grace Adams is one bad day away from saving her life.
One hot summer day, stuck in traffic on her way to pick up the cake for her daughter’s sixteenth birthday party, Grace Adams snaps.
She doesn’t scream or break something or cry or curl into a ball. She simply abandons her car and walks away.
But not from her life – towards it. To the daughter who won’t live with her anymore and has banned her from the party. To the husband divorcing her. Towards the terrible thing that has blown their family apart…
Today she’ll show her daughter that no matter how far we fall we can always get back up again. Because Grace Adams was amazing. Her husband and daughter once thought so. They and the world might have forgotten. But Grace is about to remind them…
One of my favourite books of 2022 (I read this right at the end of the year) – Amazing Grace Adams is an honest, heartwrenching, powerful novel about a woman whose life feels like it’s falling apart.
The story centres on Grace, a 45 year old woman struggling to deal with recent developments in her marriage and with her daughter, Lotte. I won’t give too much away about the plot but Grace has reached breaking point, and we follow her on one hectic day as everything hits her all at once. But we also jump backwards in time to various points in Grace’s history as she meets her husband Ben, has her daughter and deals with some truly horrible experiences.
I’m making it all sound like doom and gloom, but this story is weaved through with humour too. I loved Grace and was rooting for her so much throughout this novel. It’s been a while since a character has resounded with me so thoroughly as Grace did – and I found myself laughing and crying like a baby at different points.
A lot of this novel is about everyday life and its difficulties, which I really liked, as well as the way expectations, guilt, and womanhood can chip away at us. It’s a compelling read which I hugely enjoyed. Fran Littlewood does a great job of conveying the frustration and sheer worry that daughter Lotte’s behaviour is causing Grace, and the importance of communication when things go wrong. There’s plenty of drama in this book but, somehow, it never felt over the top or ridiculous – the writing, characterisation and emotion of this book worked in perfect harmony to create a captivating read.
My rating: 5/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Michael Joseph UK, for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest review.