AWAITING GRACE by Rosanne Daryl Thomas


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A tale of sin, conversion, and redemption—narrated by God. The God’s-eye view that Thomas (The Angel Carver, 1993, etc.) describes is certainly a gimmick, but it works quite well once the story is underway. The focus of our attention is Sheila Jericault, a hard-driving campaign manager trying to orchestrate the election of Kip Coxx to the US House of Representatives. God doesn—t really interest himself very much in politics, although he seems to like the incumbent whom Coxx is trying to unseat (—a decent and likeable Episcopalian—) and implies that Coxx himself is a blowhard. But during the campaign, something goes very wrong for Sheila. One day, for no apparent reason, she suffers a freak hemorrhage and nearly dies. Laid up for some time afterward, she begins to think about the course of her life so far, finding that she can—t discern much in the way of direction. She leaves the insufferable Coxx and his campaign but can—t imagine what her next step should be—until she notices an unhappy-looking woman living across the street and learns that she’s a Sri Lankan maid kept in involuntary servitude by her employers. Sheila’s path is clear: she has to free Kiri Srinvasar. The daughter of a poor widow, Kiri signed a contract with an “employment agency” that promised her work abroad in exchange for ten months” labor . . . three years ago. Since her employers hold her passport and she’s penniless, Kiri has no means of escaping her situation. So Sheila steps in, with the help of Bob Wickett, a dairy truck driver who also almost died in a freak accident and has become her friend and ally. Together, the two set about righting one of the world’s many wrongs, which—God knows—is about the only purpose we have in this life. Good-natured if somewhat naive: Thomas’s style will appeal to New Age readers, though more cynical types may find all the uplift a bit much.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-20275-X
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Picador
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1999