Friday, July 24, 2009 By: Suzanne

Audio: The Myestery of Grace by Charles de Lint

Ok, last night I got very, very drunk. Something that maybe it is not a good idea for a woman of 32 to be doing since we do not bounce back as quickly as we did when we were 22. This morning I dragged myself out of bed, still feeling nauseous and made myself go to Yoga because I knew it would make me feel better. Thank goodness I was right and didn't puke on Becky's pretty hardwood floor! That would have been embarrassing. I guess I looked like death warmed over before class started because she took one look at me and asked if I was alright. I was regretting my decision until we started doing some downward dog. I had no idea that hanging upside down would be a cure for a hangover, but everytime we did that and standing forward bends I felt better! So that is my advice to all of you next time you decide to be stupid and drink 4 tequila shots within 2 hours along with 3 beers (I swear that's all I had!). Hang your head below your knees. Instant hangover cure. Anyway, when I was finished I was starving and tired so I made lunch and took a nap. 3 hours later I woke up. Good thing I didn't have plans today. Well, of course now I'm not tired (it's 11:30pm) and while Jeff has gone to bed I'm still up, supposedly reading but really playing Farm Town and writing on my blog. I was going to read, really I was but I got side tracked and am still here! So I'm going to write up the reviews of the two wonderful books I have just finished. The first is one I listened to, The Mystery of Grace by Charles de Lint.

I will not bore everyone by once again going into detail on how much I love the works of Charles de Lint. I will say that once again he has found a way to speak about something that is dear to my heart and include music that I enjoy throughout his story.

It is hard to describe what The Mystery of Grace is about without completely ruining the entire story. I can't say much about the main plot because otherwise the moment of shock is lost. I will include the blurb from de Lint's site since this is obviously what he seems to think is ok to share before reading the story.

Centered on a remarkable female protagonist and entirely self-contained, this is a modern contemporary fantasy as invented and pioneered by de Lint himself. Altagracia—her friends call her Grace—has a tattoo of Nuestra SeƱora de Altagracia on her shoulder; she's got a Ford Motor Company tattoo running down her leg; and she has grease worked so deep into her hands that it'll never wash out.

Grace works at Sanchez Motor Works, customizing hot rods. A few blocks around her small apartment building is all her world—from the grocery store where she buys beans, tamales and cigarettes to the library, the little record shop, and the Solona Music Hall. Which is where she meets John Burns, just two weeks too late.

Grace and John fall for one another, and that would be wonderful, except that they're both haunted by unfinished business. Before their relationship can be resolved, they're both going to have to learn things they don't know about the world of the living and the world beyond. About why it's necessary to let some things go.

I will say that it is a story about the veil between the worlds being thinest at Halloween and Beltane, two days of the year that are special to me and my sister. When I realized that, I immediately called her and told her I have a wonderful book she must read.

This book is written from two points of view, both John's and Grace's, and so the audio is done with two actors: Paul Michael Garcia and Tai Sammons. Sometimes when listening to an audiobook, the reader of the story can color your impression of the narrator. I found myself thinking, this is the perfect voice for Grace! But I'm not sure if I would have thought that if I had read it first and then listened to it later. I never thought that about Garcia though, so maybe I would have. Not that Garcia wasn't any good, he just didn't stand out the way the Sammons did.

Sometimes, I think that maybe I should listen to the genre of books that I really like. There's something about them that just is better in reading than in listening but I enjoyed listening to this one, but of course, I haven't found a de Lint book yet that I didn't like.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the hangover tip. Never know when you might need it :) I would have thought the down dog would have made you sick.

Tonya said...

I would have thought so too and was nervous about the first standing forward bend but I felt worse standing upright than upside down!