Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book Review: A Casualty of Grace (Lisa Brown)

A Casualty of Grace
by: Lisa Brown

Genres:  Historical Fiction

Oliver and Simon are young brothers who are unexpectedly orphaned and left alone in the world. With nobody to care for them, the workhouse looms and the threat of being torn apart becomes painfully real. The promise of a good home together eases their fears, but it is a promise that is destined to be broken. 

After being separated from Simon, fate delivers Oliver to the Pritchard farm, where Liza Pritchard, a woman struggling with her own fractured and afflicted life, sees in Oliver the family she so desperately wants. But Oliver has to contend with her husband, an angry and violent man, and he can't see past the terrible life he has been thrust into. Both Oliver and Liza have much to learn about faith and forgiveness, and together they embark on an emotional journey that will change each of them forever.

Our self-assigned job here at CommonBookSense is to tell you whether or not a book is worth your time. Since the very beginning, I have clung to the idea that writing a review doesn't require describing the book.....that's what the blurb is for. So, when you visit the Goodreads page for A Casualty of Grace, you'll know why my review is different than the others.

If you were to go to my list of reviewed books, you'll see that most of them are nestled into some paranormal genre or another, and that's because I really don't like Historical Fiction. I avoid it at all costs, preferring to surround myself with fantastical characters and otherworldly beings. I'm beginning to wonder if my judgement of Historical Fiction was so harsh because I just hadn't found the right book in that genre...because I hadn't found A Casualty of Grace until now.

As I said above, our job is to tell you if a book is worth your time, and I can honestly tell you that this book IS.

Shell said it in one of her reviews, and I agree with her so I'll say it here; using dialect is a very dangerous game. It either works really, really well, or it yanks the reader right out of the story. A lot of the dialogue in this book is written that way....and it's done amazingly well. Usually, when an author writes "and so-and-so has an accent", no matter what type of accent they're written to have, I don't read their dialogue in that accent...I read it in the accent that I speak with, which I imagine is why authors sometimes incorporate the accents into the written dialogue. Lisa did an astonishing job. Honestly, I am blown away by it. I could HEAR Simon and Oliver's (and everyone else's) accents in my head as I read, and it flowed perfectly. I never had to stop, backtrack, and think "Well, what on earth is this boy even saying?!". Like I said, it either works really, really well, or it doesn't.....and it works really, really well in A Causality of Grace.

Lisa did an amazing job writing a touching story. I never once had to remind myself what time-period I was in because I was constantly reminded. This book was amazing, and I can say now that I'll definitely look at historical fiction a lot different now. Read this book, you guys.

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