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Saving Grace (Mira)
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Saving Grace (Mira)

Sèrie: Button Jar (book 1)

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234800,713 (3.67)6
When Emily Oliphant married John Stratten she thought it was the beginning of an exciting new adventure, imagining herself standing shoulder to shoulder with the most eligible farmer in the district, mucking in to build a thriving agricultural business. Three years later however Emily sees her marriage for what it is.… (més)
Membre:debraannhunt
Títol:Saving Grace (Mira)
Autors:
Informació:Harlequin Enterprises (Australia) Pty Ltd
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Saving Grace de Fiona McCallum

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» Mira també 6 mencions

Es mostren totes 4
This is another of,the rural romance genre so popular at the moment. Believe it or not a dog is sort do one of the central characters.
The ending did leave me up in the air. Did Em use the diamonds? ( )
  cookiemo | May 20, 2013 |
I am enjoying Australian rural-based fiction more and more of late, so I jumped at the chance to try South Australian Fiona McCallum’s latest novel, Saving Grace. McCallum has the tick of approval from my mentor in Aussie rural fiction (my mother), who wanted this book from the moment the parcel arrived! I can say now that Mum was right on the money when she said I’d enjoy this gentle story.

Despite the title, the main character of the book is not Grace (that’s the dog), but Emily. Emily is the shame of her mother for not marrying until 28 (gasp!), but redeemed herself somewhat when her marriage was to one of the wealthiest farming families in the district. Three years on, the old Emily has disintegrated, leaving a shell of a woman who is continually bullied and abused by her husband. Emily lacks the courage to do…well, most things, but when John shoots at her puppy, she ups and goes. There, she must restart rebuilding her life from scratch and her confidence too. Can she become the independent woman she was, or is it all just too hard?

The character of Emily is one of the things I liked about Saving Grace. To have a heroine who isn’t as bold as brass in need of TLC was refreshing – this story is delightful when Emily regains the confidence and independence to do something the rest of us consider simple – like decide to rent a house. It’s a bold move by McCallum, but it worked for me. It made me realise just how damaging continued mental abuse is to someone’s self-esteem, whether it be from a spouse, family or a colleague. How Emily works her way through the difficult periods is realistic and positive.

McCallum is also a realist when it comes to portraying country towns – it’s not all happy living in a small town. She aptly describes the gossiping and shunning of those who are thought to be in the wrong. The snubbing of Emily when she goes to town by her friends is something that happens and unfortunately, there’s generally few avenues to turn to. (Think of it like school – the gossiping and living in each other’s pockets). Emily has a good friend in Barbara, who is her saviour in getting her through this.

I also really liked that there was no romance in this book. Yes, no romance. It was refreshing to realise I only had ten pages left and Emily hadn’t met ‘The One’. While it’s lovely to have a happy ending, it is more realistic that she’s not going to meet someone in her small community within a month! Speaking of the ending, it is left rather open and several plot lines are left dangling. I think (I’m not certain) that there could be a second book for Emily coming. I was a little surprised that the book finished where it did, but the main plot is Emily recovering after her separation and the ending was fitting for that.

This book was a fun and gentle read. McCallum characterises well, plus her descriptions of Emily’s farmhouse (almost) had me wanting a place in the country! I’ll be very pleased to read more about Emily and her friends.

Thank you to Harlequin Australia for the ARC.

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | Apr 7, 2013 |
I have been hearing the term ‘Rural Lit’ around the traps for a while but hadn’t really experienced it for myself. Have to be honest and say I scoffed at the term, and thought that it would be all cow cockies, beer swilling and…well…boring. Yes that’s right I am not a country girl, so I obviously know nothing! What a pleasant surprise, if SAVING GRACE is a typical example of Rural Lit, I have missed out on so much!!! So what is Rural Lit? It is women who live in the country overcoming anything that gets in their way. Traditionally working on the land is a man’s world, while women play an important, but unrecognized, part supporting their menfolk; but now they are coming out and standing on their own feet and taking charge. Many challenges in the country are similar to those in a city but with some major extra differences on top: long distances, lack of health care and other services to name a few. So when a woman such as Emily living in the bush leaves her husband she finds that professional support and therapy is thin on the ground. SAVING GRACE is all about how Emily found the strength to go it alone, and the plot follows her growth from a downtrodden and bullied wife to an independent confident woman. The support characters are all believable and mostly likable; Emily’s ex and her mother being examples of characters that are not so likable. I have met people like Emily’s mother – in fact put her in a city and you would have my own mother to the T! I did feel that a real-life John may not have acted that way. Someone as hugely controlling and potentially violent may have caused a lot more problems than he did, so to that extent Emily got off lightly. Author, Fiona McCallum, refrained from having Emily jump straight into a new love interest but managed to hint that when Emily was ready there was potential out there. At first the ending left me a little up in the air, there was not enough total closure for me. But when I sat and thought about it – when someone starts a whole new life not everything would be clear cut straight away and as long as there is the potential for a bright new future then that is good enough for me. SAVING GRACE is the first book I have read by Fiona McCallum and I shall definitely go and look for her earlier books.

With thanks to Harlequin Enterprises Australia and the author via NetGalley ( )
1 vota sally906 | Apr 3, 2013 |
Saving Grace is the fourth book by Fiona Mccallum set in South Australia and the first in a new series named The Button Jar series. In this contemporary rural fiction novel, Emily Oliphant has endured three years of marriage to John Stratten and, when he destroys her hope of developing a B&B (literally) and threatens her only companion, a puppy named Grace, she decides she can’t take his cruelty anymore. Despite her mother’s vehement disapproval and her own doubts, Emily leaves and must find a way to rebuild her life and her dreams.

After struggling with Mccallum’s lead protagonist in Wattle Creek, I was hoping to find Emily a more personable character. Unfortunately I quickly grew frustrated with Emily’s passive attitude which swings wildly between self pity and bitterness. There were glimpses of strength but too fleeting, and almost immediately undone by semi hysterical rhetoric. To be fair, I was not completely without sympathy for Emily and thought that her thoughts and behaviours were not unrealistic, especially as she wavers, but I found her pessimism wearing.

I often find when I can’t relate to the main character of a book it influences how I feel about the story as a whole, and that is certainly the case here especially as very little else happened plot wise. Saving Grace is a character driven novel and without the connection to Emily I care little about what happens to her. This novel feels as it ends abruptly with very little progress or resolution. There is some growth but generally at the instigation of others and I really wanted for Emily to take a more active role.

I did like Barbara quite a lot though, I appreciated how supportive and practical she proved to be, given the newness of her friendship with Emily. I also liked the way in Emily’s father extended his quiet support to Emily, especially in the face of her mother’s endless criticism and disapproval.

I really wanted to fall in love with Saving Grace, and I am sorry I didn’t. I consider my opinion to be the result of a personality conflict with Emily, and not a reflection on the author but I can only describe it as an okay read (hence the 2 stars). ( )
  shelleyraec | Apr 1, 2013 |
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When Emily Oliphant married John Stratten she thought it was the beginning of an exciting new adventure, imagining herself standing shoulder to shoulder with the most eligible farmer in the district, mucking in to build a thriving agricultural business. Three years later however Emily sees her marriage for what it is.

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