In this debut novel, Holczer presents a tender, transformative exploration of family, loss and reconciliation.
Grace has been moving all over California with Mama, looking for the perfect home. She is sure they have found it in Hood, so when Mama suggests they uproot, Grace puts her foot down. On that night, Mama dies. Now Grace is living with her estranged Grandma—the very same woman who sent Mama away when she was pregnant with Grace. Grace is determined to make life impossible so Grandma will send her away, too. Grace’s voice is smart and observant; her sadness is palpable. Despite her resistance, Grace is assisted through her grief by a cast of colorful, original characters, including her Grandma, who reminds Grace in many ways of Mama. And Grandma, just like Mama always did whenever they moved to a new town, has set up a treasure hunt for Grace in hopes of leading her, and welcoming her, home. The phrasing and the images are beautiful and rich. If the pace begins to lag a bit, young readers invested in the emotional journey will not mind.
Grace’s surprising discoveries about herself, her family, and her friends, and her struggles with sorrow and forgiveness, are engrossing. (Fiction. 10-14)