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The Mystery of Grace

av Charles de Lint

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
5213335,046 (3.85)54
Grace, as her friends call her, has a Ford Motor Company tattoo running down her leg and grease worked deep into her hands. She works at Sanchez Motorworks customizing hot rods. Finding the line in a classic car is her calling. Now Grace has to find the line in her own life. Grace loves John, and John loves her, and that would be wonderful, except that John, like Grace, has unfinished business: he's haunted by the childhood death of his younger brother. He's never stopped feeling responsible. Before their relationship can find its resolution, the two of them will have to teach each other about life and love, about hot rods and Elvis Presley, and about why it's necessary to let some things go.… (mer)
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Grace has always followed her own path–or followed in her Abuelo’s in any case–what with her tattoos and rockabilly and her passion for hot-rodding old cars. Not what her mother would have wanted for her, perhaps, but it suits Grace just fine. Well, it did, until she happened to get herself killed–wrong place, wrong time. Which is when she found that those who die in said place, in the few blocks around the Alverson Arms apartment building, don’t move on like they’re supposed to. They become trapped in this strange afterlife world consisting of those few blocks. But unlike most of the people in this Alverson Arms world, Grace isn’t content to just “sleep” or fall into an endless routine. Especially after she goes back to the world of the living on Halloween–one of two nights each year when the boundaries are thinnest–and meets (and falls badly for) John, just a couple weeks too late.

I firmly believe that Charles de Lint is one of the best writers of urban fantasy out there, and I would highly recommend any of his books. The Mystery of Grace is no exception. It carries the feel and mechanics of his Newford books, but places the story in the Southwest–and he does a great job of incorporating the people, the culture, and the feel of that area into the story seamlessly. The whole concept of the story is really interesting, also, as is the way in which the reader gradually finds out more about what’s really going on. I really enjoyed the characters, especially Grace–and it wasn’t so much that I especially liked her, although I did, as just that she was so much herself, so complete and complex a character, that she was a joy to read. I really appreciated all the detail that de Lint casually scattered in to enhance her character. John was interesting as well, although I didn’t enjoy his chapters nearly as much as I enjoyed Grace’s. I did like the way the chapters switched perspectives back and forth though. And I loved that, while this is an a sense a “love story,” it wasn’t a mushy romance at all–it’s not chick-flick-y at all. What it is is unique and passionate and creative and thought-provoking and slightly creepy at parts. I would definitely recommend The Mystery of Grace, especially to those who like a good urban fantasy or ghost story. ( )
  Honyasbookshelf | Jan 29, 2020 |
Altagracia Quintero, Grace to her friends, is a lover of classic cars--specifically, classic Ford cars. She works at Sanchez Motors customizing hot rods. She's a fan of rockabilly music, and has enough tattoos to make those unacquainted with her believe at first glance that she's a tough, scary, gang member.

John's an artist, doing commission work for his friends' company while pursuing his serious art independently. He's a melancholy and somewhat solitary young man, still coping with his grief and guilt over the death of his younger brother, when they were still children. When he and Grace meet at the local music hall on Halloween, he's immediately attracted to her, and she to him. Before the night is over, John and Grace are well on the way to being in love.

Unfortunately, Grace has been dead for two weeks.

Grace died when she was shot by a strung-out junkie robbing the local grocery when she stopped in to buy a pack of cigarettes. After death, she woke up in a very odd afterlife, a tiny pocket universe which reproduces her apartment building, the Alverson Arms, and a few blocks around it in each direction. Everyone who dies within those few blocks winds up in this pocket universe when they die. There's no way out, except for two "free trips home" a year, on Halloween and May Eve. On those two nights, they can, if they choose, return to the living world from moonrise to sunrise. The people who knew them before, though, won't recognize them, and at sunrise, they find themselves back in the Alverson Arms world.

In alternating voices, John's and Grace's, we learn the story of their romance, John's struggles with the discovery that he's in love with a ghost, and Grace's discovery of the nature of the Alverson Arms world and her struggle to set things right. This story is truly a stand-alone, unrelated to anything de Lint has written before, but if you've enjoyed his gentle, lyrical telling of tales whose characters have to confront their own character strengths and weaknesses, as well as a world more complex than they were prepared for, you'll enjoy this.

Recommended.

I borrowed this book from a friend. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
I was surprised by thee ending, but I shouldn't have been. ( )
  kbartosh | Mar 27, 2018 |
Grace is of Mexican descent, is a mechanic, and is covered with tattoos. John is a really nice guy, an artist. When John and Grace spend a night together, they seem to be super-connected. Imagine John’s surprise when Grace literally disappears from his bathroom the next morning! I’d like to say more about the book (much more is revealed in the second chapter), but the big reveal is not mentioned in the blurb about the book, so I will keep it to myself (but you can see it based on tags if you look; don’t look if you don’t want to see!).

The chapters were told from alternating points of view. I really liked this. Really good urban fantasy (which de Lint is so good at!). I liked both main characters and I liked Grace’s world and the friendship she made with Conchita. The mythology/superstition was interesting, as well. ( )
  LibraryCin | May 3, 2017 |
It wasn't what I was expecting, but maybe I had my hopes too high. But there were a lot of things that were weird about this book, and not really in a good way.

First of all, there's Grace. She's not bad. She's interesting because of her interests, though when I try to think back on it I can't really remember her personality. She likes cars and rockabilly and has a lot of tattoos. What are those tattoos? Well, there are descriptions of two of them, but the rest... She's just a heavily tattooed girl. It's mentioned so much and she has the recurring problem of people looking at her warily because of her tattoos, but we don't get to know what they all are? Frustrating.

The world that Grace finds herself in isn't quite believable. If they're completely self-contained, why do they still have food and showers and stuff? Where does the water come from? Maybe it's stupid, but the world just didn't seem to have enough detail. It didn't seem real, though I guess you could argue that it's not supposed to.

John. Stereotypical. Hovering over the line between creepy and devoted. His friends, like Grace, are defined primarily by their interests while delving into their personalities isn't anywhere. Nina is the go-getting girl, also into wicca. Danny is the gamer nerd who can't get a girl. Wes is gay. Okay.

The plot. It was interesting. I genuinely didn't know how it was going to resolve itself, so at least there really was a "mystery" in here. But it was kind of all over the place, like it didn't know what it wanted to be. The romance was there of course, though just as a instant-connection-deep-love kind of way. Then there's the whole mystery of the dead world. Suddenly there's a witch, with absolutely no foreshadowing at all. There's some stuff about faith. There's some stuff about a mother's love and Grace's family issues.

The book just wasn't long enough to actually investigate all of these things. They popped in and out of the story, making it feel disconnected and a little confusing.

It's weird though, because normally I like Charles de Lint and his books aren't so scattered. Not sure what happened to this one. It's a shame because the cover and concept are really cool. ( )
  BrynDahlquis | Mar 20, 2017 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Charles de Lintprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Palencar, John JudeOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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I do not understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us.

—Anne Lamott, from Traveling Mercies
We stand always on the edge of wonder . . . and need only to be pointed in the right direction to see it.

—Robert J. Howe, from his introduction to Coney Island Wonder Stories
When we die . . . it will be different for each of us.

—Tori Amos, from an interview in Mojo, October 2006
The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.

—G. K. Chesterton
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for
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She woke up when he got out of bed.
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Grace, as her friends call her, has a Ford Motor Company tattoo running down her leg and grease worked deep into her hands. She works at Sanchez Motorworks customizing hot rods. Finding the line in a classic car is her calling. Now Grace has to find the line in her own life. Grace loves John, and John loves her, and that would be wonderful, except that John, like Grace, has unfinished business: he's haunted by the childhood death of his younger brother. He's never stopped feeling responsible. Before their relationship can find its resolution, the two of them will have to teach each other about life and love, about hot rods and Elvis Presley, and about why it's necessary to let some things go.

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