Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mixed Feelings about Grace's Pictures by Cindy Thomson

Grace's Pictures
by Cindy Thomson
Ellis Island series, Book1
Christian Fiction / Historical
Available June 2013
Tyndale House
392 pages

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About the Book
Grace McCaffery hopes that the bustling streets of New York hold all the promise that the lush hills of Ireland did not. As her efforts to earn enough money to bring her mother to America fail, she wonders if her new Brownie camera could be the answer. But a casual stroll through a beautiful New York City park turns into a hostile run-in with local gangsters, who are convinced her camera holds the first and only photos of their elusive leader. A policeman with a personal commitment to help those less fortunate finds Grace attractive and longs to help her, but Grace believes such men cannot be trusted. Spread thin between her quest to rescue her mother, do well in a new nanny job, and avoid the gang intent on intimidating her, Grace must put her faith in unlikely sources to learn the true meaning of courage and forgiveness.

My Thoughts
To be totally honest, I had mixed feelings about Grace's Pictures by Cindy Thomson while I read it, and I’m still having difficulty deciding what I feel now—even as I write this review.

Initially, I thought I would absolutely love the book. The descriptions of Grace’s initial experiences in America—New York City, Ellis Island, the immigration process, and trying to find her “place” in this new country—were incredible. It felt so realistic to me. The story moved quickly at first, as Grace finds a place to live, is introduced to other immigrants, and is given a job as a nanny.

However, partway into the book, the story began to drag, and my interest wavered. Part of my struggle was that the two main characters (Grace and Owen) had little interaction with each other. That went on for so long that there eventual “relationship” seemed a bit forced to me. Additionally, the mobster story that took center stage for much of the book was just odd and extremely confusing to me at times.

Finally, Grace constantly repeated a saying that her mother told her as a child: “You are smart. You are important. You are able.” Ring any bells? It’s VERY close to the line that is repeated through the 2009 best seller The Help: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” It was a little too close, in my opinion.

While not my favorite, this book does present a very well-rounded story. You get to see Grace and Owen’s lives as a 360 picture, rather than merely one- or two-dimensional. Their home life, work life, family, friends, and past all play important parts of their story, which was nice to see. [3.5 stars]

I received a temporary e-copy copy of this book from Tyndale House via Net Galley in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Cindy Thomson is a writer and an avid genealogy enthusiast. Her love of history and her Scots-Irish heritage have inspired much of her writing, including her new Ellis Island series. Cindy is also the author of Brigid of Ireland and Celtic Wisdom: Treasures from Ireland. She combined her love of history and baseball to co-author the biography Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story, which was a finalist for the Society for American Baseball Research's Larry Ritter Book Award. In addition to books, Cindy has written on a regular basis for numerous online and print publications and is a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Historical Novel Society. Cindy and her husband have three grown sons and live in central Ohio.

Cindy Thomson Online

1 comment:

  1. that is sad when a story line drags like that! The description, like you said, sounded incredible! It is a very long book too, it probably could have been shortened quite a bit. Great review thanks for sharing it.


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