Tuesday, March 19, 2013

forged in grace

forged in grace
jordan e. rosenfeld
iv ink
published 2013

At age 15, a horrific fire left Grace Jensen scarred and highly sensitive to the pain of anyone she touches. Thirteen years later, living with her hoarder mother and half-in-love with her former doctor, her long-absent best friend, Marly Kennet, returns to town and convinces Grace to make a leap-of-faith trip to Las Vegas. There, Grace discovers she doesn’t only feel others’ pain, she can heal it. This healing gift soon turns darker when the truth of Marly’s past and the fire that scarred Grace is revealed, pushing the boundaries of loyalty and exposing both women to danger.

I have found that the characters we want to like are not always the ones we end up falling in love with.  The ones who we find to be constricting and may label the antagonist are maybe the heroes after all.

Jordan Rosenfeld has written a book that I am so genuinely surprised by.  As it began I instantly felt protective towards Grace.  After all, she was damaged, putting on this brave face, living under her mother's crazy thumb.  How do you not root for the underdog?  How do you not want everything in her life to come up roses?

Then enters Marly.  She's beautiful, bold and bubbly.  She embraces Grace and reveals a mother's deceit.  She wants to make Grace's life better.  She wants to protect and encourage her.  But I could never fall in love with Marly.  She was wrong.  And it wasn't the hints at her mental illness.  Goodness knows I have no room to judge there.  But it was something.  I didn't trust her, I didn't like her.

But I wanted to.

There were so many twists and turns and lies and betrayals that in the end I was left with my head spinning.  Thinking endlessly in this loop of 'what just happened there?'  Rosenfeld has seamlessly fused reality with fantasy, thriller with romance, graphic with tender and horrific with beauty.  She writes of pain and loss and forgiveness.

She writes with brilliance.

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