Grace Kelly has the unfortunate circumstance of bearing the name of a princess. With her plane Jane looks, frizzy hair, and short stature she looks anything but a princess! This is no way to enter the 9th grade and a new school. She’s going to need help, and her new friends St. Augustine, (Blessed) Pierre Giorgio, and St. Therese of Lisieux seem like just the friends who can help. If only they could make high school easy…
Let me begin, in the beginning.
As she got older and learned a thing or two, Grace Kelly became increasingly embarrassed by her name, which she considered altogether ill-chosen.
Laura H. Pearl is a great writer. Reading the first sentence, I was hooked. Also? I was a little daunted. The book is large, and long, and has small print.
With no pictures.
Okay, so I said the last line as a joke. But the book is really long.
There is a story here of a young girl, coming of age.
Young Grace Kelly (not the princess) is a gangly and awkward freshman in highschool. She is the quintessential ugly duckling, trying to make is through Catholic highschool with a crush on a boy who doesn’t know she exits, an over protective father, a mother who doesn’t understand her, and a beautiful best friend. How is she expected to make it through and still try to become a saint? Is it even possible?
There is a story here of a mother, watching her children grow up. Maybe a memoir?
Peggy Kelly is Grace’s mother. She is raising 5 children. Four of them boys, and the youngest one is a bookish, awkward girl. Nothing at all like her mother. Raising this girl is nothing like her four older brothers. And Peggy doesn’t quite know how to handle it. This is a coming of age book for women watching their nest empty, and the associated struggles. Shouldn’t I be happy my son wants to be a priest? Pregnant? I thought I was going through menopause! What am I going to do with this daughter of mine? I love her so much and yet we have little in common.
And there is a great non-fiction book in here on how to be a saint.
Saints are everywhere, all around us, but they stay under the radar sometimes (41).
Isn’t that a great line? I would love for my daughter to read a non-fiction book on saints that had that everyday feel about it. But in a fiction book, it comes across as moralizing and jolted me out of the storyline.
All of them would be fantastic books, especially at the hand of Mrs. Pearl. She really can turn a phrase. But in this book, they seem to muddle together and get lost. This makes me sad. Everyone of these stories would be great.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I was totally engrossed in the various storylines as they evolved. But they transitioned awkwardly, and I sometimes questioned who the intended audience was for this book. Young adult readers won’t appreciate the parenthetical statements that tended to moralize, and that were, as a whole, well…parenthetical. And unnecessary. As an adult, I enjoyed the storyline of Grace’s mom, Peggy, and could relate to her on several issues. But then, I wouldn’t want Grace’s story to interrupt.
I really loved the portrayal of familial love between Grace and her brothers. And I loved that curmudgeonly nun, Sister Theodore. Loved her. The book takes on some big issues, too. Which I have tremendous respect for. Abortion, in particular, I thought was dealt with rather well. In fact, I would have like to been in Irene’s head a little bit more through out the novel. She was naughty, and a little bit more real than Grace.
So this is good first novel. A good, first three books, and I hope that Mrs. Pearl continues to write. Well, I know that she is…she’s got another novel in the works.I received a complimentary copy of this book. This did not affect my opinions of the book, or my review.
What You Need to Know
- Role Models/Authority Figures – Grace – and her friends – have good Catholic parents. Nice ones. Nuns teach a the school, which I love. Sigh.
- Violence – None.
- Language – None
- Sexual Content – Some kissing. A character gets pregnant (out of wedlock) but nothing is shown in the book.
- Consumerism – None
- Drinking/Smoking/Drugs – Grace drinks at a party – it’s not condoning the act and comes as a relief, truth be told, as conflict in the story.
- Religion – Everyone’s Catholic!
- Other – One girl gets an abortion and we see her suffer emotionally because of it.
- Neat stuff –