WOW when I got a copy of The Grace Year by author Kim Liggert, I didn’t know what to expect. I requested a copy and had read the synopsis of the book and as I’m reading it my mind is being blown. I could not put the book down. It just sucks you in and you want to see what happens to the characters and where the story goes. It is a top ten book of the year for sure and maybe the best YA (young adult) novel this year. If you like The Handmaid’s Talee and Vox, this book is for you.
The story is set in a time when women are seen and not heard. They are to do what they are told, have babies and be submissive. When the girls of the village of Garner County turn 16 they have to go away for The Grace Year. Before they leave there’s a ceremony where the girls are picked by the single men to be their wives when/if they return after the one year away. Girls that are not picked are sent away to work in the fields or banished to the outer grounds or even hanged if they betray their men or are accused of keeping their magic.
When they reach sixteen, they’re sent away to a special place to get rid of their magic. The girls when they reach this age are to purify themselves of the magic. They spend the year away doing this. Not all girls will return. No one talks about The Grace Year but things happen when they’re away. Some are taken by poachers (who rape and kill the girls and sell their body parts), others are driven mad by their ‘magic’ and others can’t handle it and kill themselves.
The story centers on Tierney James, who privately thinks this is all ridiculous. She’s chosen by Michael at the ceremony and will have to marry him when she returns. She’s been shunned by most of the other girls because she dares to be different. When she’s banished by the group, she has to somehow survive outside the compound where the other girls are. She is rescued by a poacher, and learns their way of life. When she returns to the compound she has figured out why the girls are driven mad and then a shocking reveal when they return after a year will change everything for Tierney, the girls and their way of life.
The rights to this book have been bought by Universal Pictures and actress Elizabeth Banks and I cannot wait to see what they do with this on the big screen or maybe even a TV series.
You can pick up The Grace Year in stores on Tuesday, October 8th from Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press.
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