BOOK CLUB: Breathe Grace

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Breathe Grace by Kelly Wilson is a novel which combines a story of women helping women with a touch of the supernatural. It is likely to appeal to young adult readers.

After a series of appallingly bad choices have come close to ruining her life, Grace is sent to live with her grandmother for a time. Grace normally lives in Melbourne, and her grandmother lives on a farm in outback NT, so the difference is significant. Her mother and grandmother see it as a way to give Grace a chance to reset. She sees it as a way to isolate and punish her.

Despite Grace’s unwillingness to take an interest in her grandmother or anything around her, she’s gradually drawn in. It’s clear her grandmother has many secrets, and Grace is intrigued. Then, too, there are the mysterious dreams that transport Grace to other places and times, and seem to drop tantalising hints about the secrets her grandmother keeps.

The novel follows Grace on her journey to get to know her grandmother, her family history, and ultimately herself.

For me, the main obstacle was that I never connected with Grace – she simply didn’t come alive for me.

However, this is very much a personal reaction, and not everyone will share it. Grace is clearly intended to be a character that many young adults will identify with. She’s angry and resentful about the decisions others have made about her life. She’s made some really bad choices and is behaving like a selfish brat, but she’s not a bad kid deep down. She loves her mother and grandmother even while she makes their lives difficult. She wants to be treated like an adult even though she’s behaving childishly.

Plenty of young adults will see themselves in her. Indeed, plenty of parents will see echoes of their own teenagers in her.

The setting is well drawn and is a strength for the novel. There’s a very strong sense of place and time to the scenes set on the farm, which is particularly important given the dreams Grace has. Obviously these require some suspension of belief, but that would be more difficult without such a grounded framework.

The dream scenes – I can’t tell you where they’re set, it might spoil an element of the story for you – are well written and a number of them are very vivid. It’s easy to understand how Grace is drawn in, and why they affect her relationships and thought processes so deeply.

Overall “Breathe Grace” is well suited for the young adult audience. Adults who focus on the feminist aspects to the story are also likely to appreciate it.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Breathe Grace by Kelly Wilson. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Breathe Grace

  1. A thrilling and captivating book about family, secrets, love and Afghanistan. I couldn’t put it down. Such a fantastic read.

  2. New to both the author, the supernatural theme and immersed in the elements of the Afghan culture I quickly found myself immersed in Grace’s world.
    After finding herself arrested for arson (in time we learn it wasn’t deliberate) Grace finds herself being sent to her grandmother’s home ‘Zarnish Estate’ a location in the very vast Northern Territory and is left feeling intensely betrayed by her mother.
    Grace is haunted by her vivid dreams where she finds herself transported to terrifying places in a very different world and feels as though she has been/’lived’ at ‘Zarnish Estate’ before. As these vivid dreams grow increasingly intense and more frequent Grace finds herself learning more and more about her family’s past where their dangerous connections have devastatingly shattered their legacy. Grace must solve the mystery with the clues she has been given before someone is lost forever.

  3. Thank-you Beauty & Lace for giving me the chance to read & review ‘Breathe Grace by Kelly Wilson’.
    This is a story about Grace a wayward teenager finding her place in the world and where she fits in with her family heritage. Grace is rebellious in attitude and actions, resulting in her being moved to live with her grandmother on Zarnish Estate. Here family secrets are slowly unravelled through dream sequences and shared discussions.
    I did enjoy the book; however, I became frustrated with the keeping of secrets from Grace by her mother and grandmother – more openness amongst her family would have helped Grace to develop an understanding of her family plight a lot quicker and may have prevented her poor choices. Thank you ‘Beauty & Lace Bookclub’ for the opportunity to read ‘Breathe Grace by Kelly Wilson’.

  4. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read Breathe Grace by Kelly Wilson.

    I totally enjoyed this beautiful story.

    From the Northern Territory to Afghanistan this is a very moving and captivating read.

    Grace has got herself in trouble and is sent to the outback to try and get herself sorted, but she is angry with everyone and it’s not helping herself.

    Grace has a lot to find out and learn about her families history, she has flashes of memory that helps her try to understand where she came from and sometimes what’s happened in the past.

    A story of drama and long held secrets this is one story you must read!!

    Highly recommended ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  5. Thanks so much to the wonderful ladies from the book club Beauty and Lace. I am so grateful and honoured you took the time to read Grace and leave such fabulous feedback and insight after reading. I am very pleased you loved Breathe Grace, and I really hope you enjoy my next novel, The Shadows in my mind, even more.

    1. Thank you so much ladies…. what amazing feedback you have given for Kelly’s book ‘Breathe Grace’. We appreciate the lovely comments and I know the talented author of the book will love reading the reviews that are coming through… xx

  6. Kelly Wilson delightfully manages to deliver a rebellious teenage Afghan girl into the outback of Australia. Breathe Grace, gives us an insight into the hardships faced by the many women who were her ancestors, as well as those still enduring life in Afghanistan today. Brutality, coercion, viciousness and cruelty play a role in her ‘dreams’, which were in fact the reality for her own grandmother and female ancestors.

    I particularly liked the awareness that was afforded me on the subject.
    A very interesting, enjoyable read. I would highly recommend!

  7. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review Breathe Grace.

    I am new to this author and really enjoyed the obvious research that went into writing such a story. From life in Afghanistan to the Australian Outback along with such important hardships faced, I learnt so much and really liked the book.

    I highly recommend Breathe Grace to all

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