Book review: Grace after Henry + competition


Published by Corvus

Synopsis: Grace sees her boyfriend Henry everywhere. In the supermarket, on the street, at the graveyard. Only Henry is dead. He died two months earlier, leaving a huge hole in Grace's life and in her heart. But then Henry turns up to fix the boiler one evening, and Grace can't decide if she's hallucinating or has suddenly developed psychic powers. Grace isn't going mad - the man in front of her is not Henry at all, but someone else who looks uncannily like him. The hole in Grace's heart grows ever larger. Grace becomes captivated by this stranger, Andy - to her, he is Henry, and yet he is not. Reminded of everything she once had, can Grace recreate that lost love with Andy, resurrecting Henry in the process, or does loving Andy mean letting go of Henry?

How did this book end up in my hands? I won this novel in a competition online ahead of publication date and I was super happy because it sounded right up my street. What a privilege!

Was it a page-turner? This book came to the toilet with me because I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know what would happen to Grace, of course, but I also got attached to all the other main or minor characters in the novel and I felt like I could go on reading forever.

Having read the synopsis, did the book meet my expectations? The book went above and beyond expectations as it gave me a lot more to think about than what I would have expected. I was anticipating sadness, anger and all those emotions that we connect with grief and it was with surprise that I then also found myself laughing aloud and smiling at the quirkiness of some situations and characters.

Did I like the ending? Yes, very much so. It could all have gone terribly cheesy and predictable… but it didn’t. Phew!

Did the book leave me with unanswered questions? No, but I grew so fond of characters like Betty, Grace’s parents and the three wise men that I’d love a whole other book (or books, why not!) about them.

Three words to describe it. Funny. Touching. Unpredictable.

Do I like the cover? I love it! It’s so simple and it captures Henry and Grace so well. It’s probably one of my favourite covers this year so far.

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, unfortunately not.

Will I want to read other books by the same author? I’d love to catch up with Eithne Shorthall's debut novel, Love in Row 27.

Will I be recommending this book? Yes, definitely. It is a story about love, loss, family, identity, hope and it is delightfully well written. The storyline vaguely reminded me of How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper, while the wit made me think of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka. But then again, Eithne Shortall has a unique voice and this book doesn’t need comparisons!

Anything else? Yes! Corvus are giving one of you the chance to win a copy of Grace after Henry. All you have to do is follow me on Twitter and retweet the competition post by 10/06. Comments left below will count as extra entries (one per person). Good luck!

Comments

  1. What a fab review definitely makes me want to read this, many thanks!

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  2. Thanks for the review, I'd not come across Eithne Shortall before. Like the sound of this interesting plot line, and that the ending wasn't predicitable - I'm now intruiged by how it turms out!

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