The Miracle of Grace – Kate Kerrigan

The back cover of this book screams praise for its predecessor, Recipes for a Perfect Marriage. I haven’t read this, but based on how much I enjoyed The Miracle of Grace – it’s going on my To Be Read list!

The strapline of this book is “How do you tell your daughter one of the saddest things she’ll ever hear?” It’s clear that this is actually about two things: 1. Eileen can’t tell her daughter Grace that she has terminal cancer, or 2. That as a young unmarried woman, Eileen became pregnant and had to give a child up for adoption.

Grace discovers her mother’s illness by reading one of her many lists left lying on the kitchen table. What hurts Grace the most though, is the fact that breaking the news is number eight on her mother’s list, underneath such things as returning a borrowed blouse and taking out the bins!

On confronting her mother, Grace realises that they have to face up to their troubled relationship, as well as Eileen’s illness. Parties are planned, new hairstyles are created, and Grace discovers that she isn’t in fact an only child, as she always believed.

The heart-rending story is told from the alternate points of view of Grace and Eileen. We learn about Eileen’s childhood and how she came to be in London; and how Grace became a married woman whose hippy husband lives in Australia.

The Miracle of Grace is a very warm and humbling tale. It will make you laugh, and also have a bit of a cry too. Ultimately, if you enjoy chick-lit, you’ll love Kate Kerrigan’s beautifully written second novel.

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