Published by Harper Impulse on September 12th 2013
Beyond Grace’s Rainbow is the deeply emotional and poignant story of young single mother Grace Devlin. With a wonderful cast of supporting characters and plenty of charm, this will have you laughing and crying at the turn of a page.
BEYOND GRACE’S RAINBOW was one of those rare books that you know will utterly break your heart but you can’t help but put your trust in because you know it will put it back together. Heart-warming and emotional it kept my attention from beginning to end.
Grace is a young single mum to adorable Jack who is given the devastating news none of us want to hear…Cancer. Having already lost her adoptive parents to a tragedy and splitting up with Jack’s dad Liam who’s suffered from alcoholism for years, this news is the last straw. Drawing on the support of her best friends, Tara and husband Sean, couple Tom and Gerry and perpetually single gal Abby, Grace gathers her strength to fight for her life. When Liam, newly sober pops up in her life again begging for another chance, Grace must acknowledge that her time in this world may be limited and decide how to live the best life possible for her and her beloved son.
BEYOND GRACE’S RAINBOW was definitely a tear jerker but was also happily filled with loads of humour and laughter that helped as I read this book, travelling on an emotional roller coaster with tear stained cheeks. Grace was a great character, devoted mum and friend; I loved how she gathered her strength from within and refused to let the cancer win. Liam was an interesting character, he reminded me of a lot of lads I know, acknowledging his wrong doings but never really “getting” it and understanding just how much pain he caused until finally it clicked and I began to trust that he was for real. Devoted to both Grace and Jack, I loved how he redeemed himself in the eyes of his loved ones and his friends particularly my favourite, Tara, whose steely gaze and ability to make people jump through hoops to gain forgiveness is only rivalled by my own!
While Grace is the one going through the illness it was clear to see the effects it had on the group dynamic, constantly assured by Grace to get on with their own lives it was heartbreaking to see their struggle to fulfil her wishes and not always achieving them. I enjoyed all of the characters and loved how unique and distinct each of their voices were. Gerry did grate on my nerves a bit, he was a bit too camp for me but he did win me over in the end. I connected most with Abby, in the same situation myself; I watched her journey with particular interest. I loved the setting and the fact that Harrington really made use of Irish landmarks down to the local shops which made it easy to visualise the surrounding and add to the realism of the story.
While definitely character driven there was plenty of plots and mystery to keep me intrigued particularly when Grace realises that in order to fight for her future she needs to uncover her past and her adoption storyline was a particular favourite.
A story filled with love, friendship, sorrow, forgiveness and above all hope BEYOND GRACE’S RAINBOW was a wonderful, unforgettable story that will stay with me for a long time.