Tuesday, April 28, 2009
~Book Review~ Tender Graces by Kathryn Magendie
From the back cover: The death of her troubled mother and memories of her abused grandmother lure a woman back to the Appalachian hollow where she was born. Virginia Kate Carey, the daughter of a beautiful mountain wild-child, and a slick Shakespeare-quoting salesman, relives her turbulent childhood and the pain of her mother's betrayals. Haunted by ghosts and buried family secrets, Virginia Kate struggles to reconcile three generations of her family's lost innocence.
My thoughts on this book: For me, reading this book was like curling up under a soft blanket, with a hot cup of tea, and feeling totally satisfied. Kathryn's portrayal of Virginia Kate is perfect and beautiful....everything that you would want from the main character of a story. She is the glue that tries to hold her family together. You suffer along with her when her mother is drunk and verbally abusive to her husband and her children. The children take in stride their mother's moodiness and alcoholism. Their father decides he can't take anymore and moves out. He starts a whole new life for himself. He goes to school and gets remarried, and one by one, their mother abandons them and sends them to live with their father. Virginia Kate and her siblings like Louisiana, but Virginia Kate longs for West Virginia and her mountains, and only wishes her mother would stop drinking.
Excerpt, page 269~"I miss my mountain so much when I'm in Louisiana. When I'm in Louisiana, I mourn for West Virginia. When I'm here, I miss my family so much. I'm Virginia Kate Carey and I'm a crazy girl."
Virginia Kate comes to the realization that she has been carrying a heavy burden for far too long. With the help of the spirit of her Grandma Faith, she learns to finally let go.
Kathryn takes you into Virginia Kate's world, so that she may share her life experiences with you. You will laugh and cry while reading this heartfelt story that only Kathryn can tell. This book is a keeper...it is going on my bookshelf to stay.
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books