Amazing Grace Adams by Fran Littlewood
THE AMAZING GRACE ADAMS
I loved the premise of this one and how it began. It’s a boiling hot day in North London and Grace is in her car, sweltering and stuck in traffic en route to collect a cake to deliver to her sixteen year old daughter’s birthday party (which she’s been banned from). Their relationship is strained to say the very least and this cake is important. It means a lot.
With cars at a complete standstill, she has a breakthrough — and she gets up and out, abandoning her vehicle and heads off. But not away from her life — instead, she’s heading straight towards it and she’s going to grab it with both hands.
We learn about Grace and her past — she’s a brilliant, genius of a linguist and it’s through her talent that she meets her husband, Ben. Her life is full of potential and dazzling career opportunities — though as the novel shifts in time from past to present, we learn that now, perimenopausal in her forties, she’s facing a divorce and her daughter lives solely with Ben.
Grace’s past traumas are skilfully interwoven with the battles she faces in her present balancing heavier topics with real humour at times. Littlewood brilliantly captures the overwhelm that so easily (and often) can swamp women today. The pressures on them to be able to do it all, the impossible expectations. And, though there were moments of Grace’s rage that I found a little on the extreme side, I think it’s safe to say that, in some ways and in varying degrees, many readers will absolutely relate to the heroine. Indeed, as Littlewood herself has said, there’s a little bit of Grace in all of us.
Excellently written, an easy and moving read, I really enjoyed this one. Have you read it? What did you think? ~ S