As a child, Nora Lynch was sent to the English countryside as an evacuee during World War II. She stayed with the Rivers' family, hand picked by the daughter, Grace. Grace became her sister, her best friend, her entire world. As the war raged on around them, another raged within Nora; suddenly, she was growing up, and becoming aware of the world around her. The book juxtaposes memories from Nora's childhood with happenings in her adult life.
I had a feeling that this book was going to be quite special, and it absolutely was. I loved the way the story changed from Nora's childhood to adulthood and back with each alternate chapter. I think it helped to echo a lot of common themes, and really helped develop Nora's character more fully. I found it interesting the multiple use of the name Grace, and the idea of grace throughout the book, and liked the added touch of the three Graces in the garden. It gave this theme a feeling of symmetry.
I found the story to be very well developed, and to move at a good pace. I admit, I did like the chapters from Nora's youth more than the chapter's from her adulthood, but I think that both were needed to balance the book. I was quite captivated with the turn the story took with the Rivers family and must admit, I did not see that coming, nor did I expect the turn things would take with Grace.
This is a lovely coming of age tale about friendship, and love. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and will be looking forward to reading more from Catherine Hall.
A touring review copy of this book was provided by Crazy Book Tours.