Saturday, 20 April 2013

Guest Book Review: Carmel Harrington - Beyond Grace's Rainbow

Reviewed by Ceri Kehoe 

Beyond Grace’s Rainbow is a poignant story about a young mother’s battle with cancer.  Single mother Grace Devlin faces what will be the biggest fight of her life and the stakes are high.  She cannot contemplate leaving her adorable little boy Jack all alone in the world.  Unfortunately for Grace her best chance of survival is to receive a bone marrow transplant, so she embarks on a heart breaking search for her biological parents, as she was adopted when a small baby.  This search will unravel a web of lies and deceit that has spanned over thirty years.

And just when she thinks life can get no more complicated, Jack’s father Liam is back in town full of remorse and he’s made it clear that he’s not leaving until he’s won her back.   Liam was the love of Grace’s life but can she trust him ever again? Helping Grace muddle her way through her cancer treatment and complicated love life are her friends – Tara, Sean, Abby, Tom and Gerry.  Tara is Grace’s cousin and is happily married to Sean but they are desperate for a baby of their own; Abby, Grace and Tara’s friend from college is single and looking for her one true love  which is proving difficult, whilst Tom would be happy if  his boyfriend Gerry for once didn’t max out their credit card!    Beyond Grace’s Rainbow will bring the reader into Graces world where friendship, courage, loyalty, laughter and above all love are abundant.  

The last few reviews I've done for Sharon haven't been very successful so for my next review book for her I wanted something good but I wasn't expecting this!

All I can say about this book is 'WOW'! I could easily do a three word review on this and it would be 'Read it, now'! It's a book of all extremes, you'll either be crying with laughter or crying with sadness.

It revolves around Grace, a thirty-something single mum to Jack. Jack's father is an alcoholic and although he provides for him, he hasn't ever seen him. Grace, feeling unwell, goes to the Doctors where she's diagnosed with leukemia. All her friends step in to help with Jack.

Her friends are a lively bunch, there's Abby, an artist, desperate for love. Tom and Gerry (geddit?), the gay couple who are a delight to read about, Tom is the strong dependable type while Gerry is much more flambouyant. Then there's Sean and Tara, a doctor and nurse respectively, they are trying for a baby.

This is a book that covers two emotive issues, cancer and adoption, on the cancer issue it just gives you enough medical information but without overwhelming you, you do get an excellent sense of what's happening with Grace's treatment. With the adoption issue, every case is different yet I found this was handled sensitively.

There's so much I want to say about this book but won't because I'll give the plot away. The characters are all identifiable, all typical characters that you would find in a book like this. It focuses on strong friendship and how people help each other out when the chips are down.

A powerful debut novel, a book that will stay with me for a long time. I don't recommend this book. I insist you read it, I promise you it won't let you down.

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