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April 30, 2023

Amazing Gracie by Laura Drake ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Once again Laura Drake has brought her readers a beautifully written story that touches on many issues in America today - the way vets are treated when they return home, PTSD, and poverty to name a few.  It's a book about a road trip but is also a story about facing your demons and finding hope and love on the other side of your despair.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of women's fiction novel Amazing Gracie by Laura Drake
April 2023; The Story Plant; 978-1611883527
ebook, print (288 pages); women's fiction

CJ has returned from the war but she hasn't left her memories behind - the fate of her three best friends crowd her thoughts constantly.   She and her mother aren't thrilled to see each other but CJ has returned home to see her nine-year-old sister, Amazing Gracie, or Mazey, as CJ calls her.  At only 9, Mazey is brilliant beyond her years.  Despite her brilliance and living a life of almost neglect with her mother, Mazey remains innocent about the world outside her door.  Her main goal at her young age is to meet her father.  CJs plans to spend a few days with Mazey and then head out on a motorcycle trip to meet the families of her three best friends who died in combat.  Mazey convinces CJ to take her along on the trip.  So as they leave, they have conflicting plans that they haven't shared with each other -- CJ to meet the families of her fallen friends and Mazey to find her father.  The motorcycle trip for the two sisters turns out to be so different from what they both planned and eventually provided them with what they really needed in each of their lives.

Even though there were a lot of years between the two sisters and their goals for their trip were very different, the love that they had for each other continued to bond them together.  They were actually different sides of the same coin - CJ was jaded and haunted by her life and Mazey was naive and open to the changes she was hoping for in her life.   Their trip will bring them things in life that they had only dreamed of as their love for each other continues to bind them together.

This was a fantastic look at loss and survivor's guilt and the results of PTSD on a returning soldier.  The author has created a strong character in CJ that I won't soon forget.  CJ brought tears to my eyes as she struggled with the demons in her life.  Mazey, on the other hand, made me smile as she approached her life looking for changes and almost always seeing life as beautiful.   This is a beautiful character-driven novel that you don't want to miss.

Buy Amazing Gracie at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  

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