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The Mystery of Grace

Written by Charles de Lint

Average Score: 77(6)

On the Day of the Dead, the Solona Music Hall is jumping.  That's where Altagracia Quintero meets John Burns, just two weeks too late.

Altagracia – her friends call her Grace – has a tattoo of Nuestra Señora de Altagracia on her shoulder, she's got a Ford Motor Company tattoo running down her leg, and she has grease worked so deep into her hands that it'll never wash out.  Grace works at Sanchez Motorworks, customizing hot rods.  Finding the line in a classic car is her calling.

Now Grace has to find the line in her own life.  A few blocks around the Alverson Arms is all her world -- from the little grocery store where she buys beans, tamales, and cigarettes (“cigarettes can kill you,” they tell her, but she smokes them anyway) to the record shop, to the library where Henry, a black man confined to a wheelchair, researches the mystery of life in death – but she’s got unfinished business keeping her close to home.

Grace loves John, and John loves her, and that would be wonderful, except that John, like Grace, has unfinished business – he’s haunted by the childhood death of his younger brother.  He's never stopped feeling responsible. Like Grace in her way, John is an artist, and before their relationship can find its resolution, the two of them will have to teach each other about life and love, about hot rods and Elvis Presley, and about why it's necessary to let some things go.

Book Details

Hardcover, 272 Pages
Published by Tor Books on March 17, 2009
ISBN-10 0765317567
ISBN-13 978-0765317568


Stephen Hunts SF Crownest | Pauline Morgan
Review Rating: 100
'The Mystery Of Grace' is a poignant masterpiece.
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Boomtron | dragonwomant
Review Rating: 80
This book works on many levels, both as a good contemporary fantasy, as a deeper allegory, and as a tight literary work.
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Boomtron | amberdrake
Review Rating: 80
For those who prefer their stories to be thought-provoking, this will be a gem.
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SFRevu | Gayle Surrette
Review Rating: 80
It's been three years since his last major adult novel, and The Mystery of Grace was well worth waiting for.
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SF Reviews | Thomas M. Wagner
Review Rating: 70
to whatever degree The Mystery of Grace stumbles in its final scenes, for the most part it's a deeply heartfelt and memorable tale that understands that the mysteries which really compel us -- such as what may or may not await beyond the veil -- are the ones we'll never solve.
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Fantasy Literature | Marion Deeds
Review Rating: 55
Die-hard de Lint fans may enjoy The Mystery of Grace, especially for the early part of the love story, but this book is not up to his usual standards.
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