Saving Grace by D.M. Barr #BookReview

Reviewed by me for Reader’s Favorite.

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Grace Rendell was sure that her husband, Eliot, was not only cheating on her but was also conspiring to murder her as soon as she inherited her father’s billions. Convincing others, however, of her convictions was not an easy task for Grace, owing to her medical history of paranoia and bipolar disorder. Her only hope for survival was coming up with a survival plan before her father passed away, whenever that would happen. After many episodes of doubting herself and contemplating an escape plan, she decided to write a book about her life and her husband’s evil plan and publish it before she ran out of time.

Being a billionaire’s daughter should have been easy if it weren’t for her father’s total lack of affection towards her (or anybody else, for that matter). Since she started having visions, her father cut her off from the world. From that time onward, her father made all the decisions for her. He admitted her to a mental institution for about one year. When she met Eliot, she thought she would finally get the freedom that she craved, but he, too, crushed her dreams.

Saving Grace by D.M. Barr is not just about Grace; the story of Hack runs parallel to her. When Hack’s parents died in a horrible road accident, his world turned upside down. Only eighteen years old, Hack had too much on his plate: guilt on his conscience and urgency to help his friend Kenzie. When Kenzie revealed to her parents that she was a lesbian, they decided to send her off to a conversion institution. Kenzie, well aware of the horrors that awaited her in a Conversion Therapy, decided to stay with Hack until generating enough funds to leave the city. Hack’s siblings, however, had other plans for the house after the sad demise of their parents.

The author has merged two parallel storylines very strategically. The world of Grace and Hack seemed so different, yet, at the ground level, they were both struggling adults. Hack’s desire to help his friends knew no bounds and Grace’s efforts to survive and expose Eliot’s cruel intentions were almost desperate. Hack lacked resources and money to be able to quickly get her friend out of harm’s way. Although Grace had a billionaire father, she, too, was devoid of money. Whenever she tried to make a point, Eliot — in a condescending tone — told her to talk to her therapist as she was losing her grip. Even her father, on two different occasions, had admitted her to a mental institution.

Saving Grace by D.M. Barr sheds light on the condition of the LGBTQ community as well. By introducing a few side (but strong) characters, the author has talked about the fear, pain, and nonacceptance that this community still suffers. The story develops with just enough twists to keep a reader glued to their seat. The mystery of whether Grace is actually paranoid is another intriguing plot. The book has all the ingredients to be a big success. I, as a reader, enjoyed every minute that I spent with Saving Grace by D.M. Barr. There are references to cartoons, Godfather movie, and Jewish phrases that enhanced the reading experience. I would recommend this book to the readers, who enjoy reading a suspense novel that confronts social issues.

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