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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 9171 comments Five Beautiful Stars. This beautiful book really touched me. I had written a review in my head, and here it is five days and three books later. But I wanted to share a few things about why I became so taken in. This is yet another one, I found in the Staff Picks section that is meant to entice those of us regular readers, on our way to pick up our gems and jewels at the library.

There appears to be a number of books/novels with this title. This Grace novel was written in 2006 and features an African American couple in Brooklyn, with a four year old daughter. It is written from the point of view of the husband, a professor at Brooklyn College, who is struggling to understand why his wife is unhappy and wishes to leave them. It is a beautifully written portrait of a real marriage, and two complex and flawed people. I loved the passages that spoke about the meaning and experience of "grace", and what is inevitably understood about deep struggle.

What I think is lovely and spiritual about the books we choose, is how they are tied together at the era we read them, with the experiences we are having, and the other books that surround the experience. This one was a beautiful answer to both Fates and Furies, which I recently read, and also where you really don't for the first half, get a sense of what is going on for the wife. Its also an answer, (to me) to Ta-Nehisi Coates experience and letter to his son, in Between the World and Me. In this book, Justin has to explore what it means to be Carribean young man, who arrived here on scholarship, and had different experiences than his African American Wife, and yet is a man of color in America nonetheless. He has interesting thoughts on his choices of teaching various authors, black, white, latina, women, and this self-examination is a very interesting theme in the book. That in some ways he feels the movement toward diversity in authors, keeps the students, largely of color, from experiencing the humanity that is present in the books written by DWM (Dead White Men.) In his own lens, he comes to understand more about the racial tensions within America, within the Brooklyn College Classics Department, and within himself. But this theme, though present in the book, pales in comparison to the kind of parallel to the inner growth of the two people in the marriage. Honestly, it was beautiful, and it was Grace.

message 2: by Sara (new)

Sara (mootastic1) | 770 comments This sounds very good. I definitely will have to look this book up.

message 3: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6281 comments I'm adding this to my TBR ... thanks for the review!

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