Amazing Grace Adams – Fran Littlewood

Published By: Michael Joseph
Pages: 368
Released On: 19/01/2023

Grace Adams is one bad day away from saving her life.

One hot summer day, stuck in traffic on her way to pick up the cake for her daughter’s sixteenth birthday party, Grace Adams snaps.

She doesn’t scream or break something or cry. She simply abandons her car and walks away.

But not from her life – towards it. To the daughter who won’t live with her anymore and has banned her from the party. To the husband divorcing her. Towards the terrible thing that has blown their family apart . . .

Today she’ll show her daughter that no matter how far we fall we can always get back up again. Because Grace Adams was amazing. Her husband and daughter once thought so. They and the world might have forgotten.

But Grace is about to remind them . . .

*****

I am probably going to cause an outraged mob now, and I apologise in advance for that, but this didn’t live up to my expectations.

It had such promise and I was so looking forward to it. I was even part of the original cover reveal on social media last year and I got really caught up in the hype, so once it came out, I had to buy it. All the post-release reviews matched the pre-release ones, so it’s clearly popular. But it just didn’t do it for me.

I can’t say it was bad, because it wasn’t. It was promising but fell a bit flat.

If I’m honest, I just didn’t get it. I’d read it was meant to be this empowering book about a middle-aged woman, possibly battling the menopause, going through relationship problems, dealing with a mouth teenager, but coming out of it on top. But it just felt a bit moany and, at times, farfetched.

The different time periods were also confusing. I wouldn’t have minded so much if there was a big enough gap between them. But apart from one set in the early 2000s, the others were just a matter of months apart and it got a bit muddled for me. I had heard the book was set in one 24-hour period, which I thought would be interesting. And I suppose the present day chapters are set on the same day, but by having the flashbacks and whatnot, you ruin that interesting flow.

I feel one of the main issues for me, it there was just too much going on. every plot point and theme has been thrown at this story and it becomes unbelievable. It would have been more powerful, I think, if it had focused on a handful of plot points instead, otherwise you just don’t get enough focus on them all, and some feel like an afterthought. Some of them also confused me. Things were suggested or mentioned, but not always picked up on, so you’re left feeling slightly puzzled.

I didn’t take to any of the characters I’m afraid. Grace to me is not this inspirational woman, she’s moany and a tad selfish. I felt Ben was a bit of a wet weekend, and Lottie felt like a caricature of a teenager. None of them gained my sympathy.

It is a nice mixture of plot and character development. Whilst I know I said I wasn’t a fan of the characters, I can identify there are developments and that’s interesting to read. But then the story just finishes. This plot is full on, and getting exciting, and then it’s over.

I did finish the book, which means it wasn’t a bad book, as I don’t continue a bad book. I can see that most reviews are 4-5 stars and very favourable. I just think, in the end, it wasn’t for me.

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