Loving Grace by April Smith
(Ambassador International 2018)
Loving Grace is an Young Adult novel that echoes the novels of the 80's and early 90's.
Written from a teenager's point of view, we see the ups and downs, the angst, and the indecisions that only come with those teenage years.
Although slow and slightly choppy in the beginning, the writing and storyline evened out and flowed extremely well. With Loving Grace the reader is immersed into the world of the Watermelon pageants and watermelon farms, complete with the expectations and responsibilities of each.
At times it read as though some points within the story seemed contrived; but, they paled in contrast to the whole story. This isn't a simple romance, but a story of forgiveness, growth, and acceptance.
Each chapter brought me a little closer to the truth and what kept Grace from being trusting of Beau. And it is a doozy! The emotional depth portrayed was well written and I felt compassion and empathy for both characters.
With all the YA books out there that seem to highlight the immorality of this world, Loving Grace not only places importance on the Christian lifestyle, but it shows that there is honor in remaining pure and true to the Christian faith in all things.
For conservative readers, there is a point where a certain political figure is mentioned and that might cause some raised eyebrows. This also dated the novel, but it didn't detract from the story so I hope readers will not hold that against the book.
I hold this book in high esteem and will gladly recommend it for readers of all ages. How nice to see the beautiful style of true young adult books again!