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Tending to Grace

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Kimberly Newton Fusco

Grade 6-9-Cornelia Thornhill wears neglect like a pall. She avoids eye contact with others, stutters badly, is presumed to be slow at school, and likens herself to a stone, hard and strong way down inside. Taken out of school during ninth grade by her … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Kimberly Newton Fusco
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
1 review about Tending to Grace

Gracefully told, space for a child to grow

  • Sep 20, 2010
I read a book this morning; a wonderful, short, evocative, uplifting book called Tending to Grace. It's a young adult novel, and I have to admit, I love the way so many young adult books are so lyrically written, tightly edited and refreshingly focused. It made a lovely way to center my thoughts at the beginning of the day.

Tending to Grace is written from the point of view of a high school sophomore whose mother leaves for Vegas with the boyfriend, dropping daughter off with an elderly eccentric aunt in the countryside. The short scenes never revel in the young girl's thoughts, simply placing them there to be read on the page. Take it or leave it. This is who she is. But slowly the hard shell round Cornelia begins to crack. And the wounded space at the center of Aunt Agatha's heart breaks open. Lives and futures are changed, while a wooden outhouse surprisingly fails to tip open and the spiders' webs get cleaned.

I love the way Cornelia's story expands to encompass her aunt's, her mother's, the little girl's whose father is out of work, the librarian's, and even the teachers'. I love the way Cornelia's entry into other people's lives through books becomes a door opening to her own. And I love the feel of different worlds colliding when city girl meets country home, when silent rebel begins to confess the delight of reveling in words.

Most of all, I love the way the author pulled me into a young girl's pain, through her shell, into her heart, and showed the space that each of us can make if we open our minds.

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