House of Grace by Patricia M Osborne
If you follow my blog, you will know that my preferred genre for novels is crime. However, you will also know that I do stray and I had heard such excellent things about this debut novel by Patricia M Osborne, House of Grace.
House of Grace is the first novel in a family saga trilogy and centres on the life of Grace Granville. The novel starts in England in the 1950s when we meet the sixteen-year-old Grace and learn that all she has ever wanted is to become a successful dress designer. She is talented and industrious and dreams of owning her own fashion house. Grace spends her spare time sketching outfits. Her father, Lord Granville, sees this frivolous activity as nonsense and wants to groom her into a good wife for someone of his choosing.
When Grace is about to leave Greenemere, a boarding school in Brighton. She’s blissfully unaware of her father’s plans when she embarks on a new adventure. The quest includes a trip to Bolton’s Palais where she meets coal miner, Jack Gilmore, her friend’s cousin and Grace’s life is never to be the same again.
I very much enjoyed my travels with Grace through two decades as she struggled with family conflict, poverty and tragedy.
House of Grace is a beautifully written novel. It captured my interest: kept me awake at nights when I didn’t want to stop reading and really made me think carefully about the attitudes and social stresses many families endured as recently as the 20th Century.
I have no doubt that House of Grace would make an excellent book group read and I highly recommend it.
Patricia M Osborne was born in Liverpool and spent time in Bolton as a child. She now lives in West Sussex. Apart from novel writing, Patricia writes poetry and short fiction. She is a regular delegate at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. Her poetry and short stories have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. She is studying for an MA in Creative Writing with University of Brighton. Patricia has recently become Poet in Residence at a local Victorian park. House of Grace is her first novel.