BOOK CLUB: The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton

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Author: Anstey Harris
ISBN: 978-1-4711-7380-6
RRP: $29.99
Publication Date: 1st January 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Life has well and truly gotten in the way of my reading, reviewing and admin of the Beauty and Lace Club, as well as having another computer implosion. So I got a (big) bit behind on the December books, which means I am going to share publisher/Goodreads blurbs to get some posts up.

Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton is published by Simon & Schuster and is available through Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton

  1. This book is a quick read, good for a holiday read. I enjoy it.
    Even if you don’t play an instrument you will get caught up in Grace life and wish you did play.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace.

  2. I requested to read this book for two reasons, firstly the beautiful cover with promises of whimsical Parisian themes appealed, though we all know the old adage ‘don’t judge a book by its cover!’ Secondly, because of the advertised parallels to ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely fine’ and the author Jojo Moyes, as I love both. Honestly I’m not sure where the comparison comes from, but I still thought this was a sweet, easy read.

    The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton is the story of Grace, a luthier (maker of stringed instruments) living in England, who makes frequent trips to Paris to visit her long time boyfriend, David, who it turns out is married with three children. The tag line ‘she fell out of love and into life…’ is a bit of a spoiler but really, an eight year affair with a married man, based on the promise that he will leave his marriage ‘once his children are old enough’, is rarely going to end well, so it didn’t come as a huge surprise when it all came to a head. An act of heroism on behalf of David thrusts their relationship into the spotlight and reveals its secrets.

    The character of Grace was a difficult one for me to really like, though her growth throughout the book is commendable. I felt at times frustrated with, angry at, horrified by and sympathetic towards her. David was quite vapid, despite how charmingly he was portrayed, I could never particularly warm up to a man cheating on his wife and children. By comparison, I found the supporting characters of Nadia and Mr Williams much more interesting and enjoyable.

    I found this book showcases the way dishonestly affects our lives. The lies we tell ourselves, the lies told by other people, secrets and how they shape our interactions with others. At the beginning of the book Grace seemed to live with an attitude of the less she knows, the better, as she’s then able to convince herself that what she is doing is ok, and no one is harmed by it. Eventually I think she comes to realise that being open and honest is a far better way to live, and she is rewarded with more meaningful and deeper friendships because of it.

    There is a LOT of writing about music in this book, as you would expect when the title character is a cellist (albeit one who can’t play in public) and luthier, so if you have no interest in music you may find the constant music talk boring. Otherwise it’s a great holiday read, easy to pick up and put down which leaves you with a sense of well-being at the end.

    Thanks Beauty and Lace book club and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read this book.

  3. The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris – Reviewed for Beauty and Lace
    I loved this book from start to finish!
    Grace runs a successful business creating string instruments but she has a big secret and a string of tragic events in her past.
    Despite her long standing relationship with a married man it is hard not to like Grace and to accept her choice to live this life as if it is normal.
    This book describes its surroundings and characters so beautifully.
    After a devastating blow Grace forms the most unlikely friendship with a swearing teenage girl and an 80 something gay man.
    This bond helps Grace recover from deepest despair and turn her life in to something wonderful. Without realising she is also helping them overcome their own problems and to love life again.
    This is a wonderfully well written book from a debut Author, I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next!

  4. The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton is a slow burn, but it kept me turning the pages because I wanted to find out how things would end for the main characters.
    I have to say, that it’s interesting to read about how Grace changes over time. I liked the interactions between some characters (Nadia particularly) and I felt that it was written beautifully – the sentences seemed to flow well, making this enjoyable read.
    Overall, I think this is a beautifully written story which feels a bit different – recommended.

  5. I loved The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton! It is such a well written novel that had me engrossed from the first few pages. I didn’t see a lot of things coming and I felt like my emotions we’re being toyed with, haha. You know you’re reading a great book when you let out little ‘Oh my gods’ every so often 🙂
    The characters are different and yet come together so well. They all have their little quirks which were great to read.
    I cannot praise this book enough. It’s a little offbeat and quirky. Thank you for a great read these school holidays x

  6. This beginning of this book sets a really great scene. Grace gets to travel to Paris regularly because of her relationship with David and all the beautiful things about spending considerable time in a foreign country. Then you find out the real reason behind an 8 year long distance relationship and that she’s actually mistress to a married man. At this point, I find it hard to like Grace. She’s having an affair and after 8 years still believes he’s going to leave his wife.

    The redeeming factors of the book are actually the side characters of Nadia and Mr Williams who support Grace when things start heading downhill.

  7. It’s always going to be a bit hard to like a heroine who is a married man’s mistress, no matter what the situation. So at first I was wary of Grace and wondered why on earth she believed everything David promised – notably that they would have a HEA, especially after a very complicated start to their ongoing relationship. Grace seemed smart and was obviously a talented musician, gloriously playing her cello – but only in private – while making quite a reputation for herself as an excellent violin maker. When David – who seems disarmingly nice – is suddenly thrust into the public eye, their affair begins to show cracks. The story has a slow reveal, peeling back facades and secrets until you can understand all the psychological baggage, and why things are the way they are. But above all, this is also a glorious tribute to music. I played some of the music from the playlist in this book and it is staggeringly beautiful. I encourage everyone to YouTube it and enjoy it as well. The descriptions of Grace playing her cello with her friends Nadia and Mr Williams are so well written you can almost hear the music. Nadia and Mr Williams, along with a pivotal character from the past, a viola player from Japan, are brilliantly drawn, the perfect foil for Grace; all are exactly who she needs at this time of her life. And vice versa. This book has heart and music for the soul. I couldn’t put it down. Thanks to Beauty & Lace Book Club and Simon and Schuster Australia for the reading copy.

  8. I’ll admit it: I initially didn’t like Grace Atherton the main character in The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton one little bit. She was living with a married msn, she didn’t seem to have a life of her own and just seemed to lack character
    As I preservered she grew on me, much as she grows into herself; finding herself and reclaiming herself
    This is a light hearted quirky tale. The characters of Nadia and Mr Williams add to the mix, I even enjoyed David for his role in this journey that Grace takes. Not for his personal qualities though.
    What is a constant throughout the book is music and the.making of the musical instruments. I liked the analogy of the cello being repaired as Grace undergoes changes. Sorry not telling what changes: you will have to read the book youself to discover those.
    All in all, after a not so great start, purely as I did not like David and Grace’s situation, I thoroughly enjoyed this book
    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to review it and to discover Anstey Harris. I will look out for future works

  9. Thanks to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this book. My feelings about this book took me on a ride where sometimes I really disliked the main character Grace, other times I felt sorry for her and then also at times relating to her.

    Sometimes I stopped to look up some of the songs that were mentioned and other times I found it too much talk about music.

    But overall I quite enjoyed this book and will be on the look out for anything else by the same author.

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