Genre: Contemporary Speculative Fiction
Publisher: Plenary Publishing
Publication Date: March 2001
The question hovers unanswered over Grace’s hometown of Vigilant, Michigan. Few people, black or white, understand her sacrifice, especially since rumor has it years ago a member of Gilmore’s family murdered several African Americans including Grace’s father. Grace doesn’t want to talk about it, but the decision to speak is not hers to make. Ancestor spirits emerge to insist, in ways Grace cannot ignore, that she bear witness to her town’s violent racial history so that all involved might transcend it.
With hindsight made telescopic by the wisdom found in African American mythology and the book The Velveteen Rabbit, Grace recounts a story of eye-for-an-eye vengeance that has blinded entire generations in her hometown. Faced with the horrific crimes that have disfigured her life, Grace wonders if in the end, she can do as the spirits have asked and lead Mr. Gilmore, the town of Vigilant and her own soul on a journey toward reconciliation, redemption and true grace.
This is an AMAZING book. I love the story, the characters, the writing, everything. Simpson’s rich narrative pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. I love her descriptions and imagery…they are truly breathtaking. The main character Grace is so real and complex, she jumps off of the page. She’s surrounded by an equally real and imaginative cast of characters who bring the right balance of humor, darkness, and emotion to the story. The story itself unfolds slowly but doesn’t drag. Each layer of the story pulls back to reveal more truths and detail about Grace and her destiny.
To top it all off, this is Karen Simpson’s DEBUT novel! If this is the first, I can’t wait to read what comes next.
Karen Simpson is passionate about the craft of writing fiction, the art of quilting, and the discipline of historical research. She received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Husbandry, M.A. in Foreign and International Trade and a M.S. in Historic Preservation. A historic preservationist trained in heritage interpretation and administration, the subjects and themes of her fiction are often taken from the stories she discovers while doing research for museum exhibits. In 2009 Simpson was awarded the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Older Writers Grant. She is lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Act of Grace is her first novel.