#bookclub Feature by SJV
For fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Keeper of Lost Things, The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton is the story of a woman who has her heart broken, but then puts it back together again in the most uplifting and exquisite way.
Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.
Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.
It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …
First up, the lovely Catriona:
‘This book was so different from anything I’ve read before, in a good way I hasten to add, it was beautiful, uplifting and really taught me a thing or two about the world of stringed instruments!
I warmed to Grace as a character straight away and definitely wanted the best outcome for her as the book progressed. She definitely has some skeletons in her closet and keeps herself pretty closed off from other people so it felt wickedly intimate as I got to learn her secrets and see her softer, more vulnerable side. It was that vulnerable side that made me warm to her as much as I did. Knowing that she wanted to be in control and wanted to have it all but really didn’t feel like the was winning at either of those things.
David is an interesting character, he really is a bit of a villain and I enjoyed disliking him throughout this novel as much as I enjoyed liking Grace. The ‘vivacious old man’ and the ‘straight talking teenager’ mentioned in the synopsis are the true heroes of this novel. I loved learning about them as secondary characters and I loved how they fitted into the story and into Grace’s life. I’d really like to find out more about what happens with Nadia.
A lot of this novel takes place in Paris and, as Paris has a habit of doing, it becomes another character in the novel as you can see from one of my favourite quotes: “The city accepts me just the way I am. And in return, I love it back.” I loved reading about how Grace has this relationship with the city and how the description of her apartment and the feelings she has there. It was wonderful to read about Paris in such a positive light.
Music plays a massive part in this novel as well. I have experience of playing the cello and so I was really pleased to read about a cello as a main focus of Grace’s work. There is a diagram at the beginning of the novel that comes in very handy during some of the technical descriptions of Grace’s work. I loved that fact that it was there right at the beginning setting the tone from the word go!
I don’t want to say too much about the plot because of spoilers but I enjoyed the themes that were explored and the way that book is structured. The characters are diverse, the setting beautiful and the subject matter unique. As I say, I definitely empathised with Grace and I would love to find out more about what happens with Nadia. I definitely recommend pre-ordering this one now, you’ll be in for a treat when it is released!’
Next, from lovely Annette:
“What a fabulous book, so beautifully written and totally captivating from beginning to end. Grace has her flaws but I felt such empathy for her as we gradually uncovered exactly what makes her tick and why she is the way she is.
The book described the making of a cello which is something I’d never thought about before but the language used was almost musical and I could hear the cello playing in my head. The passion for the cello, both making one and playing one came through so strongly that the cello itself was almost another character.
Talking of characters, I loved the relationship between Grace and Nadia her nineteen year old assistant and the elderly Mr Williams, together they formed a wonderfully eclectic mix.
Every part of the story was beautiful, even the shocking twists and turns of Grace’s life. I felt so uplifted when reading this book especially as Grace had been almost held prisoner by certain events in her life so it was great to see her free herself from those shackles.
I could visualise the glamour of Paris and Italy so clearly and there was one moment involving a pale blue dress which had me in tears. This book is as beautiful as the cello music it describes.
Powerfully uplifting and totally captivating.”
‘I adored this book! Exquisitely crafted, it’s a compassionate, heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting tale of Grace and David’s complicated love that will keep you turning the pages. Read it. Like some of Grace’s decisions, it’s an absolute triumph’ Fionnuala Kearney
‘As elegant and uplifting as a classical sonata, with added kick from its unforgettably quirky characters. I was both engrossed in and moved by this fabulous debut’ Catherine Isaac, author of You Me Everything
The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton publishes in Hardback and eBook in January 2019. You can pre-order the eBook for just £4.99 now.