I really wanted to like this book more because it’s a debut novel and I love discovering new authors. Also because lesfic needs more authors and characters of colour. However, Choosing Grace didn’t really work for me.
Set in 1986, it follows Sky as she flees North Carolina and marriage to a man she doesn’t love to make a new life for herself in the Bronx. Sky soon falls for Grace but her fears at being open and Grace’s half-truths threaten their budding relationship.
Choosing Grace is more of a coming of age story than a romance. Sky is the main character, the others are mostly just passing by. It at times feels as if the author had two stories to tell and didn’t know which one to choose. The blurb is misleading as most of what is written there happens before the book begins.
I don’t know if it’s because the story takes place in the 1980s, whether it’s on purpose or not, but everything about this novel feels old-fashioned. Or maybe it’s me. I’m at a moment in my life where I don’t want to read about how scary it is to be a lesbian, even though I know it’s still true in a lot of places.
Finally, the writing could use some tightening in places. The author writes poetry too and it shows but while some turns of phrase and metaphors may be poetic, they sound clumsy in fiction. There’s potential, though, and I’ll keep my eyes open for the author’s next book. Maybe her next story will be a better fit for me.