Many thanks to Pump Up Your Books for allowing me to feature Karen Simpson and her novel for two days :)
Why would Grace Johnson, a bright, African-American high school senior, save the life of a Ku Klux Klansman named Jonathan Gilmore?
That question hovers over Grace's hometown of Vigilant, Michigan, and few people, black or white, understand her actions-especially since rumor has it that many years ago, a member of the Gilmore family murdered several African-American residents. And if Grace had her way, she would not reveal the circumstances that led her to make what some deem to be a foolish sacrifice and an act of treason against her race.
The decision to remain silent, however, is not Grace's to make, for the spirit of her ancestors have emerged and insist, in ways Grace cannot ignore, that she bear witness to the violent racial history that continues to divide the town of Vigilant. But when Grace discovers a century-old tale of a bloodsoaked, eye-for-eye vengeance that includes the mysterious death of her own father, she questions whether she has the ability and the will to accept the mind-bending spiritual challenge in front of her.
As Grace reluctantly embarks on the unlikeliest of journeys and into the magical world of the African-American traditions used by her ancestors to fight slavery and oppression, she undergoes a spiritual transformation that leads to the true nature of her calling: to lead Jonathan Gilmore, the town of Vigilant and her own soul on a path toward reconciliation, redemption and true grace.
First of all, I love the cover - so mysterious and it really forces a lot of prediction before you even open the first page.
I think this book is phenomenal and one that I would (like numerous other reviewers) highly recommend. I mean, it has gotten a 4.67 overall rating on Goodreads for crying out loud!
The absolute best part of this book was the characters - you quite literally want to grab and hug Grace, she is so likable and such a dynamic person in the novel. And while you want to reach out and slap some of the supporting characters, this is a clear indication that Simpson crafted them perfectly.
I am usually not one to open myself up to the paranormal genre, and while I wouldn't classify this as a largely paranormal novel, some of the elements were there - and they are a huge positive to the overall reading experience.
I wanted to also touch on the writing of Simpson, for she is a beautiful writer and her words literally jump off the page at you as you're reading. She weaves words together in ways that just create magic, and when you feel that way about a book you know the author is top-notch.
I loved the storyline as well, and it all captured and retained my interest. I kept wanting to turn the page and figure out what happens next. And Simpson knows just when to transition into the next part, never belaboring her points.
A MUST-READ...add this to your list, and put it at the top - you won't be disappointed ;)