Free Reading Saving GraceAuthor Lee Smith –

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10 thoughts on “Saving Grace

  1. says:

    Good fiction In talking about children s reading habits, I frequently hear that it doesn t matter what they read as long as they read I have always disagreed with that sentiment, because I believe it does matter on many different levels what children and young adults read What we read eventually affects our value systems, our vocabularies,our thought patterns, and even to some degree our approach to problem solving Observing a book character a realistic human being move through the complications of the story, meeting and solving his her problems, helps young readers develop their own system for dealing with life issues As an educator, parent, grandparent, and citizen, I believe that this is the kind of reading that young people need to be reading There is some language and situations inappropriate for young children The book contains some religious cynicism that young children are probably not mature enough to sort through However, from the standpoint of learning life skills from literature, this book is a good one for teenagers and young adults Realistic Fiction like this book show characters with whom readers can identify, deal with life events with which readers have some experience, and reveal outcomes of the character s decisions Young readers then draw their own conculsions about the efficacy of different ways to approach life problems.

  2. says:

    I try to read books from a lot of different genres, but it seems that I am consistently drawn back to books that are based in Appalachia Saving Grace is the story of Florida Grace whose father is a snake handling, Pentecostal preacher It s a hard life she lives always poor and always wanting It seems like everyone is caught up with the enthusiasm her charismatic father exudes but Grace never really feels the presence of God in her life When she becomes a teenager things begin to change in the family and she finds herself helplessly swept along This book is about the rocky path her life takes and how she finally begins to find redemption Lee Smith writes in a way that you can imagine the characters and setting clearly I have read one other book of hers, Fair And Tender Ladies, and enjoyed it also Even though I have never lived in Appalachia, reading books based there feels like coming home to me.

  3. says:

    Another Lee Smith I find myself missing her voice when I m not reading one of her books Smith follows a family of snake handlers this time For those of you who aren t from these hills, I ll tell you snake handlers are holy rollers, people on the fringe of a Christianity that has no room for ambiguities An interview in the back of this book shows us what Smith was thinking she says this book really explores the vulnerability of children and how they have absolutely no control over what happens to them This is a theme usually explored via parents who drink too much, or let their kids see them doing drugs, or worse This time we follow a girl named Florida Grace She is the daughter of a man who is called to do God s work, a man who puts his whole faith and the fate of his family utterly in God s hand, never working, never planning for tomorrow, saying the Lord will provide They are often hungry and homeless When her father does find a place to preach, he gets out his serpents, takes up the signs and dares them to bite He tells the congregation the Lord will protect him from the rattlers and copperheads he handles When he is bitten, he says, Praise God and says it is God s will That s snake handling for you Our narrator goes from a holiness family where makeup and bathing suits are prohibited even in the 1950 s they still are today, for those women to a life following earthly pursuits I loved the voice, the descriptions of bucolic mountains and harsh roadside motels Smith s character unravels in a most disturbing way at the endLoved that part the most.

  4. says:

    The setting mountains of Appalachia and the writing captured, then held me I wavered a lot about the main character Florida Grace After the perfection of Ivy Rowe in my first Lee Smith novel Fair and Tender Ladies , maybe my expectations were too high Grace is the daughter of a serpent handling Pentecostal traveling preacher who searches for and struggles with her own spirituality Her journey seemed very believable, but became so sordid and depressing I wanted her to rise above her upbringing which probably would have been too unrealistic The whole world of southern fundamentalism was interesting in spite of Grace s womanizing father who was constantly fighting his backsliding ways Serpent handling and strychnine drinking as means to spiritual rapture were new concepts to me and I didn t know they were native to this Appalachian area After my first two books, Lee Smith has definitely captured my attention

  5. says:

    If you have not yet discovered Lee Smith, you must begin reading her works immediately Fair and Tender Ladies is still my favorite book by her, but this one comes a close second On the surface, the novel tells the life story of Florida Grace, a young woman whose father travels across the mountains of North Carolina and Georgia living plainly and preaching snake handling and poison drinking to the hill folk Beneath that surface is the true story of a woman trying to find some sense of who she is and what her life means She embraces the beauty and the ugliness of her life as she travels a path toward understanding the worth of her soul and the nature of her individual spirituality This is the kind of book that leaves you feeling kind of quiet after you read it.

  6. says:

    I will read anything by Lee Smith because I love the way she writes Her book, Fair and Tender Ladies is still one of my all time favorites I m not sure that she could ever top that one, but that aside, I loved this one but wish that it had ended differently I kind of hated to see the main character take such a downturn in her life, but life can be that way sometimes I can certainly relate to the main character in ways than I care to admit.

  7. says:

    I really liked this book about a girl growing up in a family in which Dad was called to witness by handling serpents Appalachian fiction until the very end The ending was not supported by anything else that had happened in the book and I felt the author capriciously decided just to call it a day in the easiest way possible Very disappointing.

  8. says:

    I really enjoyed this book There is almost nothing I like than a snappy narrator and Florida Grace is a hoot Also, I liked the interesting subject matter pentacostal like religious up bringing The ending was rather ambiguous, but I like a book that makes me think I definitely recommend this book.

  9. says:

    I finished this one in less than a weekend It wasn t a book that I expected to like as much as I did and I had never read anything by Lee Smith, but I love stories set in the South and Appalachia This was a very unique and strangely uplifting story.

  10. says:

    This is probably my favorite of Smith s novels, and not just because I love snake handling, although I really do.