Friday, October 18, 2019


Hardcover: 416 pages
Published:October 8th 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
ISBN: 1250145449

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.
                         THE GRACE YEAR by KIM LIGGETT

First Sentence(s):

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

The Grace Year by Kim Ligget is a book I’ve been seeing around social media for a while and it really piqued my curiosity. To begin with, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and as I read the book, I really appreciated the symbolic meaning of it. I’m also a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale and Vox, two books that rely heavily on the demoralizing of women and the fear that men have of the ‘weaker sex’. So, for me, reading The Grace Year was a no-brainer. I’m not going to summarize the book; this has been done and it’s hard not to incorporate spoilers. I think it’s better left for the reader to discover some things on their own.

As with any fantastic book, there are antagonistic characters and sympathetic characters; Ms. Liggett incorporates the conflict between them in a way that makes the story flow seamlessly. The dialogue is poetic and emotive, no word without meaning or great thought. Tierney is a wonderful protagonist and I loved her; she is flawed in a deeply beautiful way and so different from the other grace year girls. She doesn’t quite fit in Garner County but is clever enough to know she has to try because the alternatives are quite ugly. 

The story is told in seasons and I found this to be clever and suited the story perfectly. I don’t see this as a purely feminist book but more a tale of the oppressed and of discord but also one of sisterhood and unity. I think this is a book that many will go into thinking they know the outcome – or potential outcome - but will be surprised at the spirit and essence of the story.

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