Grace

Grace

Grace

Grace

Synopsis

"In the east Texas town of Cold Springs in 1944, the whole populace seemed to wait, collective breath held, for the War to end. In this place where certain boundaries were not breached, in a time when people revealed little about themselves, their problems, and their passions, Grace takes readers into the lives of four families on the 900 block of Pine Street. Bound together by their neighborhood and their Southern etiquette and separated by class, money, and family, the people inhabiting Grace are an unforgettable lot, vibrantly brought to life." "Grace Gillian, abandoned by her husband, thinks of herself in mundane terms. But she is an extraordinarily passionate and impulsive woman whose "wild Irish streak" will soon land her either trouble, bring her happiness, or both. As Grace, the heart of the novel, works toward closure with her past, her story intertwines with those of her neighbors - all waiting to learn what the future holds." "As the War grinds towards a conclusion, it become the catalyst that drives the inhabitants of Cold Springs across the boundaries that had once divided them, taking them to places both chaotic and astonishing - places where, as Grace Gillian says, "So many kinds of love" abide." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Cold Springs is an East Texas town of forty thousand inhabitants or so. It was named by the earliest settlers, long before the Civil War, who, when they saw the lake and found the spring that fed it, rested under oak and linden trees in full leaf, and marveled at the greenness, at everything surgent with spring, said: “Here. Here is where we will cast our lot.” The next wave, most from Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, a few from Virginia, was swept here by the aftermath of the Civil War when gone to TEXAS was crudely scratched on shattered doors all over those states. The last immigrants, and by far the largest number, have come from the North to work in the defense plant and the prison and the army supply depot. They have come to a town whose inhabitants (not counting the soldiers of two wars or the sons sent of to Princeton) have seldom traveled far from Cold Springs—a mere handful to Europe and several dozen families to New York during the 1939 World’s Fair.

It is a town where people boast about being southern, although few would attempt to define the term. “A proud way of looking at the past,” ventures the history teacher at Cold Springs Junior College. “Nonsense,” replies the government teacher, a cynic marking time until his draf number is called. “What do we have to be so proud of? It’s all hot air. Hot air nurtured by a defeated people.”

But the word southern conveys more to the people here than a lost cause, a romantic past. It is a state of mind and a way of life. It means fine linens and good cooking and a courteous way of speak-

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