Wherever Grace is Needed by Elizabeth Bass
Wherever Grace is Needed by Elizabeth Bass isn’t a chick lit novel, but this story definitely won me over and deserves a five star review. The story centers around two very different families, neighbors living in Austin, Texas. Grace Oliver leaves behind her house, boyfriend, and business in Portland for a few weeks to help her father recuperate from a car accident. Grace loved her life in Texas, her father and her older half-brothers, but moved to Portland with her mother after the divorce. Feeling unsettled with her life, she jumps at the chance to go back to Austin. But while there, doctors discover that Lou, Grace’s father and usually a sharp as a tack retired college professor, is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. The family is devastated by the news, and the diagnosis opens up a lot more questions on caring for Lou, his house, and his possessions.
The family next door to the Oliver’s are suffering from their own tragedy. Ray West and his three young children are trying to cope with the loss of a mother and young daughter. While Ray moves around like a zombie, not sure how to get past grieving for his dead wife, his children suffer from being left on there own. Especially Jordan, who feels guilty for the accident that left her mother and twin sister dead. Grace realizes that the family needs help, and the children need their father back. She becomes a support system for the children, and eventually Ray as well, and tries to help the healing process after such a loss.
I thought Wherever Grace is Needed was an incredibly touching story. Even though most of the book is filled with sad topics, I thought it was more uplifting and inspirational than making me want to cry throughout. Grace’s character is one who wants to help everyone, but at the same time she is trying to bury her own problems beneath the surface. That made her very real while reading the story, and all the supporting characters were phenomenal. Even though there were quite a few, Grace’s family, the West family, the other neighbors in Austin, etc., I never felt overwhelmed by all the lives I was keeping track of, which can happen with large casts. The writing flowed smoothly along, pushing me deeper into their lives instead of making me pull away in frustration. There are great lessons about family, loss, friendships, and love, and I wish I could find more words to praise this beautiful story. Five stars from me and advice to put this on your to-read list.