Tender Graces by Kathryn Magendie

Tender Graces by Kathryn MagendieThis pink cover didn’t promise much good. Yes, I judge by the cover! But this time, I was wrong.

Tender Graces: What it’s about

This book (which I read as an ebook on my iPod over a few weeks) is about families, how parents influence their children and how when brothers and sisters stick together, things will work out for them.

Virginia Kate Carey comes back to West Virginia to scatter her mother’s ashes and to sort out her house. While she’s there, she remembers her life there with her mother, and later after she’s been sent to live with her father.

She was born and lived with her parents and 2 brothers, Micah and Andy in rural West Virginia. At first, life was good, but when Virginia was still quite young, her father moved out to live with another woman in Louisiana.

The family was devastated but tried to go on as well as they can. Unfortunately, Virginia’s mother found it hard to cope. Her husband’s mother, Virginia’s grandmother, was pushing for him to take the kids in. Micah, the eldest son, was taken to Louisiana one day, and Virginia was heartbroken.

Then she herself is put in a car, and moved to Louisiana. First she finds it very odd, the people speak differently and the weather is also very different. But soon she gets used to it and starts to like her stepmother, Rebekkah.

She is torn between her love for her mother and her love for her stepmother.

Tender Graces: What I thought

This book was a good, satisfying read. It’s definitely a “women’s book”. The things Virginia Kate has to go through at a young age are heartbreaking. I felt for poor Virginia, but she has her ways to cope with life.

I very much liked how the author made it look like Virginia’s mother was OK, but not brilliant as a mother, while Virginia was still living there. However, when she’d moved out to live with Rebekkah, all kinds of things showed up that she had missed at her mother’s home. Things her mother could not provide for financial or emotional reasons. It becomes clear her mother wasn’t a very good mother at all.

There is an element of the supernatural in the book, especially when Virginia has come back for her dead mother, she thinks the ghosts of her mother and grandmother are moving through the house. Also, when she lives in Louisiana, a lady living nearby seems to be able to tell the future. This felt just right, any more and it wouldn’t have been so believable for me, but as it was, it was fine.

A really nice book if you want a feel-good book about a girl growing up in a broken family.

What do you think of the cover?

Rating: 4/5

I got this book: I won it during Book Bloggers Appreciation Week, ebook from Bell Bridge Books

I read this in: English, the original language

Number of pages: 289

First published: 2009

Genre: contemporary fiction, coming of age, women’s fiction

Extra: See also my review of Sweetie by the same author.

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