Mira, May 2002, 22.95, 240 pp.
Over two decades have passed since Grace Loring walked out on her abusive husband, taking her infant daughter and moving into her brother's home in Vermont. Grace became a successful writer, creating popular fiction and an autobiography that revealed the horror of spousal abuse. Nicky grows up into a fine and caring young woman but Gus becomes crippled from rheumatoid arthritis, forcing Grace into the role of caregiver and wage earner.
After many years of caring for Gus, Grace feels trapped and unable to write. When an abuse victim, Stephanie, contacts her via her website, Grace reaches out to the troubled women, offering audience and sympathy. When Gus learns that Grace is engaged in an intimate correspondence with Stephanie he believes that Grace should stop the relationship because only trouble will come of it. His sister ignores him and continues to write Stephanie encouraging her to leave her husband. Gracie's good intentions lead to a terrible tragedy and the realization that big brother is sometimes is right.
The heroine of GRACE NOTES is a warm-hearted woman who wants to save the world but is forced to learn that she has no control over the actions of others. Charlotte Vale Allen makes her protagonist a sympathetic character so that when tragedy strikes, our hearts to go out to her. Ms. Vale Allen has written a gripping tale about spousal abuse and its affects on the survivors.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner