A Touch of Grace
Bethany House, Mar 2008, $13.99
In 1900 Blessing, North Dakota eighteen years old Grace Knutson was born deaf. However, her mother refused to allow her daughter to wallow in silence. Instead she learned and taught anyone interested how to use sign language. Grace complemented that by also learning how to read lips.
Grace has always been in love with Toby Valders, who works at the local mill when he is not in a brawl; she is also his only friend. His haughty mother feels strongly that a deaf mute is not good enough for her son. Affluent New Yorker Jonathan Gould comes to Blessing at the invitation of Grace’s aunt to learn first hand life on a farm. He is unsure he will survive the difficult rugged lifestyle except for that fact that he wants Grace, who inspires him to be all he can be.
The third Blessing inspiration historical saga is an entertaining tale that enables the reader to vividly see life on the Northern Plains at the turn of the previous century. Especially enlightening is observing the hard often harsh lifestyle through the eyes of big city Jonathan as he provides a fresh perspective how difficult it can be. Through the hard winters that embellish the isolation, faith in the Lord keeps the Knutson brood and their neighbors going and ready to face anything. This is a fine entry, but references to the past as described in the previous novels (see SOPHIE’S DILEMMA and A PROMISE FOR ELLIE) behooves fans to read them first so as to understand their context. Still this is a delightful story as fans will wonder if Grace will stay inside her comfort zone (Toby), take a risk on the new player on the farm (Jonathan), or neither.