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With brilliant writing and astonishing storytelling, this debut novel is not to be missed. An unflinching, intimate tale of women both free and enslaved during the years surrounding the Civil War, it is narrated by the ghost of an escaped slave who hovers near her daughter throughout the story. Their parallel stories intertwine to capture the terrors, frustrations, injustices, and enduring hopes of the women in that era. Book groups will find much to discuss with this great novel for our times.— From Jane
Named a New York Times Best Book of the Year, 2016 For a runaway slave in the 1840s south, life on the run can be just as dangerous as life under a sadistic Massa. That's what fifteen-year-old Naomi learns after she escapes the brutal confines of life on an Alabama plantation and takes refuge in a Georgia brothel run by a gun-toting Jewish madam named Cynthia. Amidst a revolving door of gamblers and prostitutes, Naomi falls into a love affair with a smooth-talking white man named Jeremy. The product of their union is Josey, whose white skin and blond hair mark her as different from the others on the plantation. Having been taken in as an infant by a free slave named Charles, Josey has never known her mother, who was murdered at her birth. Josey soon becomes caught in the tide of history when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaches her and a day of supposed freedom turns into one of unfathomable violence that will define Josey--and her lost mother-- for years to come. Grace is a sweeping, intergenerational saga featuring a group of outcast women during one of the most compelling eras in American history. It is a universal story of freedom, love, and motherhood, told in a dazzling and original voice set against a rich and transporting historical backdrop.