Silent Grace by Gerri LeClerc is an emotional ride that involves two sisters, Beth and Patrice, and Grace. Patrice has a history of drug addiction, but she is trying to get rid of this habit for the sake of her only daughter, Grace. Even with the help of her older sister, Patrice is finding it hard to stay on course. Due to an ailment, Grace lost her ability to hear, which affected her confidence to speak as well. She loves her mom more than anybody else in the whole world. Despite all these troubles, things seemed to be alright from the outside until the worst fear of Beth comes true. Patrice somehow ends up being arrested for possession of drugs and consequently ends up in a rehab. With nobody else to take care of Grace, her responsibility comes to Beth. She loves her niece, but taking care of a child at this early stage in her life was never on her agenda. Nevertheless, she cannot see her niece living with a foster family and decides to do the right thing.
Patrice’s struggle to be sober is heart-wrenching. Her own head works against her and makes her believe that the solution of her problem lies in drugs. She loves her daughter dearly and that’s the only factor that drives her to stay away from drugs. I have never met a recovering drug-addict (or a drug addict, for that matter) but the author’s insightful writing helped me understand what’s it like to have an addiction. Other than this, the author managed to capture the conflicting emotions that each of us goes through on a daily basis. For instance, Patrice wants to keep Grace content with life, but when she sees her being happy with Beth, she feels a sting of jealousy.
Grace’s desire to be with her mother is very relatable. Although her life with Patrice is flawed, to say the least, she wants to live with her mother more than anything else. Her mother’s sufferings make her cringe. She gets defensive whenever she thinks anything or anyone might hurt her mom. This much maturity in a little girl should be alarming since this is the time when she must enjoy her childhood and not be worried about taking care of a grownup — even if that adult is her own mom. However, living in the fear of one’s mother falling sick again and again takes a toll on the kid.
Taking care of an addict is definitely not an easy task. No matter how much you love the person, you would need some sort of support system to be able to keep your own thoughts straight. Beth adores her sister and wishes to keep her away from drugs. The thought of anything happening to her keeps Beth up at nights. The mental trauma is so severe that whenever she thinks of something that would improve her life, she must consider its effects on Patrice. In drawing the painful and troublesome emotions that accompany Beth whenever she thinks about Patrice’s addiction problem, the author did not neglect the strong bond of sisterhood as well. While reading about the lives of Beth and Patrice, I felt connected to both of them. For this, I congratulate the author.
Although drug-addiction is the central plot of Silent Grace, Gerri LeClerc has very meticulously described how to take care of a child who is experiencing certain physical disability. The love and care with which Beth and Patrice encouraged Grace to live a normal life.
There are twists and turns throughout the read which ensured that the plot would never be monotonous. There is romance, friendship, motherhood, sisters’ love, courage, sorrow, jealousy, fear, and a little bit of paranormal activity. I have a sister and I could very easily relate to the relationship of Patrice and Beth. If a book manages to connect the readers with its characters then, in my eyes, it is a must-read.
Note: Dear Readers, I had mistakenly called Patrice as Patricia throughout the review (thanks to the author for pointing it out) and I apologize for the same. I have corrected the mistake but I am really feeling very bad for having made that mistake. As a reviewer, it’s my responsibility to at least name the characters right. I apologize to the author and all the readers. Rest assured, I would be more careful in the future.