Grace and Serenity by Annalisa Crawford – Book Review

Grace and Serenity by Annalisa Crawford – Book Review

Grace and Serenity by Annalisa Crawford

Grace and Serenity

Author – Annalisa Crawford
Publisher – Vine Leaves Press
Pages – 284
Released – 7th July 2020
ISBN-13 – 978-1925965322
Format – ebook, paperback
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
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Synopsis

Living on the streets is terrifying and exhausting. Grace’s only comforts are a steady stream of vodka, and a strange little boy who’s following her around.

At nineteen, Grace has already had a child and endured an abusive marriage. But she’s also had her baby abducted by her vengeful husband and been framed as a neglectful mother. Even her own parents doubted her version of the story. So she did the only thing that made sense to her—run away.

The streets are unforgiving. Winter is drawing in. And Grace isn’t prepared for the harsh realities of survival. At her very bleakest, a Good Samaritan swoops into her life and rescues her. With a roof over her head and food in her stomach, she longs to see her baby again.

But nothing ever comes for free.

Review by Selina

From the first page of Grace and Serenity, I was engrossed in this heartbreaking story.

We first meet Grace as a fifteen-year-old teenager and right away jump into her life and how she met her future husband Neil. Grace falls pregnant very quickly into the relationship with daughter Serenity, and the couple marries, though things are already on a downward spiral with her now husband Neil due to the mental and physical abuse he is putting her through.

Finally, she leaves Neil after one too many beatings and goes back to her parent’s home. She finds begin there difficult and struggles to cope when they seem to be taking her husband’s side. Although they seem like loving, caring parents, to Grace they also seem very naive to what Neil is putting Grace through.

Grace finally decides enough is enough, packs her stuff, and leaves, ending up on the streets of her home city Plymouth as she has no-where else to go.

She finds herself in many situations she never dreamed of though this is her only way to survive and cope with the loss of Ren, her baby girl who is with her father.

Months go on and Grace finally plucks up the courage to go back home to her parents, She has to learn to live again and be the mother she always dreamed of and wanted to be but things are not that straightforward. Neil certainly hasn’t changed and doesn’t make it easy for her.

Written in the first person from Grace’s point of view and with short chapters made this easy to read although I was a little disappointed with the abrupt ending as I expected more answers. At times I was shouting for Grace to just stick up for herself and not take all of Neil’s abuse, but I understand this is easy for an outsider looking it to say.

Annalisa Crawford has written a dark, gripping, and emotionally charged story that will stay with you long after you have finished reading.

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Author Info

Annalise Crawford Grace and Serenity

Annalisa Crawford lives in beautiful Cornwall, in the UK, with a good supply of beaches and moorland right on her doorstep to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, and dog Artoo.

Annalisa writes dark contemporary fiction with a hint of paranormal. These are mostly character-driven stories dealing with the confusion, deceit, surprise and joys of life. She is constantly fascinated by the things people hide.

Over the years, Crawford has won several competitions, had many short stories published in small press journals and online. Highlights include being placed 3rd in the Costa Short Story Award 2015 and being longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and Bath Short Story Award in 2018.

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What did you think of ‘Grace and Serenity’? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!


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12 Responses

  1. Robin Loves Reading says:

    This story definitely see,s like it would make an impact.

  2. Good review. It made me put this one on my list to find!

  3. This sounds like it would put my heart through the blender!

  4. DJ Sakata says:

    This one may be too intense for me. I appreciate your review!

  5. The cover is unique. It sounds like a heartbreaking story.

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