Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tender Graces: A Long Overdue Review


I've been meaning to do this review for a long time. I had to wait to buy Tender Graces, but I figured from reading Kathryn Magendie's blog that when I did buy it, I'd love it.

I wasn't disappointed.

The prose in Tender Graces captured me. The plot was interesting and the characters were unique, but the writing itself, the way Magendie uses words, elevated the story to something gorgeous. The way Magendie writes Virginia Kate's point of view is so endearing and vulnerable. Although Tender Graces is completely different than To Kill a Mockingbird, the whole time I read it I kept thinking of Scout.

That wasn't the only famous book Tender Graces reminded me of. Magendie's mastery with words, how she plays with them and uses them in unique, new ways, totally reminded me of The Book Thief.

I loved reading Tender Graces because it had both a compelling plot and words that felt a little like Godiva on every page. I'll definitely be reading more of her, but as much as I want to pass her around, I really can't part with the book. :-)

To learn more about Kathryn Magendie and her colorful writing, check out her website or her blog. She's a sweet lady who shares all sorts of interesting things about life and publishing.

Do you want your prose to be Godiva to someone? What was the last sentence you wrote using words in a fresh, exciting way?

31 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

I agree! Her style gave something to the book mere words just can't.

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Jessica Nelson said...

Thanks for stopping by Janna! I remember you reviewed it a long time ago and that made me want to read it even more. ;-)

Christine Danek said...

Thanks for the review and I agree. I'm reading this now and really like it. Her writing is beautiful.

anita said...

Great review, Jessie. Sounds like a beautiful story. Even the title is lyrical. It's so funny that you used Godiva as a comparison. :-) I have a writer pal who calls me the Lady Godiva of stories because I use lush prose in my historicals. Turning phrases and finding new ways to make words come alive is one of my passions.

Here's a line I'm having fun with in my current WIP, a YA historical romance: Flames of fear have crisped the memory to a nightmare, which snows like ash over my dreams.

WORDS ROCK!! Hope you have a fabulous day, BQE. ;-)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I haven't read this book, but it's going on my Wish List.

Your review was a thing of beauty. Great job.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Nancy said...

I enjoy it so much when the words themselves make up a lot of the beauty of a novel. This one sounds very good. I loved Scout so much. What a personality.

Warren Baldwin said...

Sounds like a good book.

You asked about how we have used words in a fresh and exciting way ... I don't know if this sentence qualifies, but I was pleased with it. It is on an article on Bible Fountain, but I will have a shorter version of it on Family Fountain on Friday: "To know the heart of another is to place ourselves in the drama of their lives and feel, as best we can imagine, the joys and hurts they experience."

Jessica Nelson said...

Hey Christine, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by!

Anita!!! Maybe I subconsciously got the Godiva thing from that. I'm pretty sure I knew that you're called that. Great example!

Susan, thank you for the sweet comment. :-) I really enjoyed the story.

Jessica Nelson said...

Nancy, me too. I should read TKM again. It's been a long time.

Warren, I think that's a wonderful sentiment! Very cohesive and strong. :-) Thank you for sharing it!

Genny said...

So nice to hear from you, Jessica!

This made me really want to read this book... "elevated the writing to something gorgeous." I absolutely love prose that captures you like that!

Hugs to you!
Genny

Glynis said...

I loved this book so much, and ordered Secret Graces when it came out. Both are treasures I will not part with.

Great review. :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

OH ,this made me want this book! I follow her blog and agree--she is a lovely, gracious lady.

Kara said...

Sounds wonderful! I will have to read it and check out her blog:)

kathy taylor said...

Oh, I love it, Jessica, when I can't part with a book. I'll still trust my daughter with it, but she's the only one.

Thanks for letting us know about this one. How are YOU?

T. Anne said...

What a testimony! I think I have the book on my Kindle, I'm a bit behind in my reading. But wow, after your review I'm heading over and checking it out!

Jessie Oliveros said...

What a great review. I'll have to look for this one! And I wish my prose was Godiva to someone. It may take just a little more crafting practice.

Cheryl Linn Martin said...

Great review, Jessica!

Since I write for 8-13 year olds (and based in Hawaii!), I hope my words will be like fresh cut pineapple or papaya, or a just pulled from the oven guava cake!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Jessica - this is so lovely --thank you. Godiva - oh! Now I want some chocolate, even though it's 9:00 in the morning (laugh) - but seriously, this made my morning bright since I'm feeling so sad over leaving behind my little NOrah Kathryn in Oregon.

Erin MacPherson said...

Sounds great. I've never read any of Kathryn's stuff but her site and blog are great.

Jessica Nelson said...

Kathryn, I'm sorry you're feeling sad! Hopefully another trip will be in the making. :-)

Erin, thanks for popping by. I enjoyed your post on Rachelle's blog today. :-) And yeah, Kathryn has a really fun blog.

Cheryl,
LOL! I don't like fruit but you're sure making me want some.

Jessica Nelson said...

Hey Jessie, yeah, I think it'll take me a while too. But you know what? Lots of people love Hersheys. *grin*

T. Anne, I'd def. be interested in what you think of the writing...

Kathy, that's so magnanimous to share with your daughter. LOL! I'm good, thanks for asking. Lots of good things going on in my life, for which I'm very thankful.

Jessica Nelson said...

Kara, let me know what you think. :-)

Yay! I'm glad I'm not the only who thinks so, Jeanette.

Oooh, Glynis, is Secret Graces as good? I'm afraid to read it since I already know from Tender that her marriage doesn't work out and I need my HEA! :-)

Me too, Genny. Thanks so much for coming over and commenting!

Catherine West said...

I'm reading the book, just have to finish it. Trouble with having an e-reader is that it's too easy to download a bunch of good books and try to read them all at the same time!!

Jennie Allen said...

I was just picking up Writing the Natural way yesterday and it is so good on this very thing.

Faith said...

I've never heard of this book, but your description makes me want to head out and find a copy. I'm not sure it's really my thing, but I love to see how others have developed their craft and how their words sweep gracefully across the pages... I know I have a lot to learn from authors like that :)

Lynn said...

Thanks for this review Jessica. I'm off to Kathryn's website now.

Stephanie Faris said...

You have me intrigued. Sounds like a great read!

Deb Shucka said...

What a wonderful review for a book that deserves every single word here, and more. Tender Graces is one of my all time favorite books, and Kat is amazing, both as a writer and a woman. To be Godiva to anyone would be truly a gift.

Warren Baldwin said...

Just checking for a new post ...

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for the info on this book! It sounds like a winner:)

Angie Muresan said...

Since both you and Janna recommend it, I have to get it.