Thursday, April 2, 2015

Review: An Unexpected Grace by Kristin von Kreisler

Here is a summary of the book from the Goodreads website:

From bestselling author Kristin von Kreisler comes a poignant, uplifting novel of one woman's journey to healing, and the surprising soul mate that helps guide her there. Lila Elliot knows she's lucky. A shooting rampage at her office left several colleagues dead and others seriously wounded. Lila's injuries will heal in time. Yet though she gratefully retreats to her best friend's house to recuperate, Lila can't quite move past her fear and anger. Being drafted into caring for Grace--a shaggy, formerly abused golden retriever--only adds to her stress. Lila has been terrified of dogs since childhood. But Grace, like Lila, needs time and space to recover.

Grace keeps her distance, sensing Lila's wariness, and only perks up for Adam, the neighbor who rescued her. Though struggling to make sense of her recent tragedy, Lila, an accomplished artist, begins to see beauty in Grace's wisps of fur and haunted eyes. As Adam points out, Grace, too, has suffered through no fault of her own. And in helping Grace to trust, Lila is being gently nudged toward the courage she needs to do the same.

Rich in warmth and humor, An Unexpected Grace is a story of compassion and connection, and of finding that what truly makes us whole again may be the love we give away.

My Review: 
My book club has read a couple of books about dogs and considering the premise of this novel, we thought it would be enjoyable.  Although I did feel compassion for the trials that both Lila and Grace encountered, this novel did not resonate with me.

As the summary above indicates, Lila was a survivor in a shooting that took place where she worked.  She struggles with her feelings after the incident-violation, trust, and nervousness invade her thoughts constantly.  A friend opens her home to Lila, a refuge where she can spend time alone, hoping to come to terms with the violence that was thrust upon her.  Her world of safety is shattered when Lila finds out that another house-guest happens to be a dog that was rescued from an abusive home.  Since Lila has always been afraid of dogs, she finds herself on the brink of a breakdown once again.

Lila doesn't plan on getting close to Grace, but Grace inches closer and closer without Lila even realizing it.  Both of these souls have experienced trauma on a grand scale so they must learn to trust each other to get through the day.  Lila finds solace in the company Grace offers during the storms of life.

It doesn't take long for Lila to realize that she needs Grace as much as Grace needs her.  Knowing this is just a temporary home for Grace until the humane society finds a permanent home for her, Lila must figure out a way to keep her for her own.  When Lila realizes that Grace could end up with the owner that abused her, she becomes even more determined to keep the animal.

Like I said earlier, this book just didn't cut it for me, or for the rest of my book club for that matter.  Many parts of the story just did not seem believable to me and the writing was just odd at times.  With themes of violent acts, trust, and forgiveness, you may find more enjoyment from this book than I did.  

My Rating:  1/5

Disclosure:  This book is from of my personal collection and I read it for personal leisure and as a book club selection.  

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Sorry this was a stinker for you.