A.J.Cronin – Gracie

 

254 pages

1978

isbn: 963 367 238 4

**contains spoilers**: Gracie is a widow returning to her hometown, Levenford, where everyone leads a strongly religious and very  prude lifestyle. Failure is not an option. if you fail once like Gracie’s uncle who studied to become a priest but got stage fright so he couldn’t lead a grace even, you never gonna rub it off of you. same with being fickle, as much as Gracie is. her heart easily sways and she has an almost idiotic like infatuation with her young adult crush who is becoming a lawyer and is already engaged to the daughter of the most prominent man of town. David Murray, simply goes along with Gracie’s invitation without coming clean and turning her down causing a stir in the small towns community to already slander Gracie without her knowing that David was engaged at all.

from Gracie’s past she had a baby what her father gave away and fend for until his death and her uncle searches for the boy and plans out to reunite mother and child bringing a stable standing point into Gracie’s life and trying to stop her from going astray.

she gets chased out of her uncles house by her uncles wife who gets a long and harsh humiliation by the priests wife saying that Gracie has no shame meeting up again with David when in fact they made a date and the guy left her standing there and after she goes to his office reading it in the local paper that he is engaged she makes a scene and gets thrown out of there going home only for the enraged aunt making her pack her stuff and leave.

her situation is even more harsh because the guy who offers her a job really just wants to get into her panties and when he invites her to dinner he tries to kidnap her and force her to go to Spain with him but Gracie, who meanwhile has been reunited with her child wants to go back to him.

she manages to escape and makes her way to the boat they are temporarily staying on, and while she goes out to get milk, butter and all the essentials for next days breakfast the pushy boss finds her and chases her through the landscape only making her to take her child and get into a boat and out on the open water when there’s a storm coming…

 

the story was compelling and as always Cronin’s writing was beautiful, many compare the story to the scarlet letter and I can see why. the ending was right up my alley so I gave it 4/5 stars.

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