The Grace Year is reminiscent of Lord of Flies
Tierney, our main character, lives in a small county that strictly controls the lives of its female citizens. Women are not allowed to meet in groups without men present. A woman can be punished with a whipping to her back for the simple transgression of taking a bath with rose petals in the water. The day before leaving for the “Grace Year”, each woman is paraded around town for the men to choose a future wife. The women have absolutely no control of whom they’ll marry.
There are so many challenges to the girls’ survival during their Grace Year. While contained to an enclosed area with little means for survival, they quickly establish a hierarchy. It’s the first time any of them are without the instruction and supervision of men. The new freedom of self control leaves many of them lost. Few of them are able to make decisions for themselves.
Four seasons of survival = four chapters of the story.
I’m disappointed to give this book only a 3.5-star rating because The Grace Year is truly a great story and it had me hooked. I definitely binge read this within three days (I have kids so I can’t read books in 1 day). This book could have easily been 4.5-stars if the formatting were correcting to include at least page breaks. The Grace Year is only separated into four “chapters”, one per season of the year. While the story is solid, the lack of true page breaks or chapter breaks is distracting to the story. In one paragraph Tierney could be asleep, then the next paragraph she’s awake and talking in a different place entirely. It causes momentary confusion and pulls you out of the moment. I hope this is revised before the book’s release in September 2019.