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Grace After Henry
Cover of Grace After Henry
Grace After Henry
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A quirky love story set in Dublin that's perfect for fans of PS, I Love You and Jojo Moyes, Grace After Henry is a funny, heartfelt debut novel about one woman learning what it means to move on and to let go.
"A poignant love story . . . Bittersweet and charming, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes. " —Shelf Awareness

When the love of her life, Henry, is killed in a freak biking accident, Grace feels like she's lost her own shadow. In his absence, she must put her world back together: she moves into the Dublin dream house they bought together, she returns to work as a chef, she watches TV with her nosy elderly neighbor. But, through it all, she's ever aware of the growing Henry-shaped hole in her life.
Until his long-lost twin brother knocks on her door.
Newly arrived in Ireland on his own search for answers, Andy is Henry, and yet not quite. Soon Grace isn't sure if she's learning to let go or becoming desperate to hold on. Grace After Henry is a funny, tender, and bittersweet story about love, loss, and second chances.
A quirky love story set in Dublin that's perfect for fans of PS, I Love You and Jojo Moyes, Grace After Henry is a funny, heartfelt debut novel about one woman learning what it means to move on and to let go.
"A poignant love story . . . Bittersweet and charming, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes. " —Shelf Awareness

When the love of her life, Henry, is killed in a freak biking accident, Grace feels like she's lost her own shadow. In his absence, she must put her world back together: she moves into the Dublin dream house they bought together, she returns to work as a chef, she watches TV with her nosy elderly neighbor. But, through it all, she's ever aware of the growing Henry-shaped hole in her life.
Until his long-lost twin brother knocks on her door.
Newly arrived in Ireland on his own search for answers, Andy is Henry, and yet not quite. Soon Grace isn't sure if she's learning to let go or becoming desperate to hold on. Grace After Henry is a funny, tender, and bittersweet story about love, loss, and second chances.
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  • From the cover

    Several Weeks Later

    1.

    There were moments of lucidity-the sound of Dad abruptly starting up the vacuum cleaner and Mam screaming that hoovering disturbed the moths-but most of the early weeks passed in a fugue. I didn't leave the bed, never mind my parents' house, if I could help it. My social circle consisted of Mam, Dad, occasional visits from Aoife, and the three other mourners I met every time I went to visit Henry's grave.

    The day I came to and regained some sort of awareness, my parents were jumping around their living room like Native Americans celebrating the arrival of rain. Everyone else's life had continued, all but mine and Henry's. Time kept passing, the sun kept rising and, as sure as spring follows winter, the moths had returned.

    "I got him! I got the little bugger."

    Dad froze where he stood, right in the middle of the living room-knee bent, hands raised; an impressive yoga pose for a man with a bad lower back-and Mam, from her position on the sofa, squinted at the space above the television, the same bit of middle distance that was entrancing Dad. Neither spoke. It was, I knew because the Late Late Show had just come on the telly, 9:35 on a Friday night.

    "You did not get him, Arthur, look. Look! There he is now. Looklooklooklook! Quickquickquickquick!" Mam leaped to her feet, adopting the McDonnell family's preferred stance when it came to the extermination of moths. "There he is!"

    "Where?"

    "There."

    "Where?"

    "Theretheretherethere!"

    "I see him I see him. The fecker! I've got you now, my little friend."

    "It's the feckin' heat." Mam grabbed the two magazines from Dad's armchair and held a rolled up Heat in her left hand and House and Home in her right. "The mild winter and all the feckin' central heating. I told you we didn't need the radiators on in March, Arthur. I don't see why you couldn't just use the tumble dryer to dry the clothes. You may as well roll out the welcome mat. They thrive in temperatures above twenty-two degrees."

    This was the fourth consecutive year our house had been overrun by moths, and my mother, who had reactivated her library membership to read up on them, had found her Mastermind subject.

    "Well excuse me, Sarah," said Dad, momentarily distracted from the assassination by this slight on his housekeeping skills. Since retiring, Dad had developed two passions: domesticity and celebrity gossip. The week he stopped being a driving instructor, he watched the entirety of Lindsay Lohan's trial live on TMZ. And then he was so worried about her that he took to cleaning to distract himself. "If you want to live in a home where you have to wear your winter coat just to go to the bathroom . . ."

    "There's nowhere else I can wear it, now they've eaten two big feckin' holes in the arse of it!"

    "And whose fault is that? If you'd just hang it back like I showed you, under the plastic cover, which I got special from the dry cleaners, but no, you just throw it wherever you feel-"

    "I see him! Arthur! There!"

    "Shush!" admonished Dad, his head cocked like Patch used to before he went deaf and forgot he had ears.

    "They can't hear us, Arthur." Mam rolled her eyes, trying to coax me into the conversation. But I was still trying to get my bearings.

    I had relinquished autonomy the moment I arrived back at our flat, drenched with rain and dread, to find two police officers at the front door. "Grace McDonnell?" And I'd known then, not from what they said but how they stood, with their...

About the Author-
  • EITHNE SHORTALL is the arts correspondent for the Sunday Times Ireland and has worked as a TV and radio presenter in her native Ireland. Grace After Henry is her American debut novel.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Alana Kerr Collins affectionately narrates this tragic love story with a beautifully calm tone and Irish accent. Both belie the racing thoughts of Grace, who loses Henry, the love of her life, when he's killed in a bike accident. Grace is shattered until Henry's long-lost twin, Andy, portrayed by Euan Morton, shows up. This dramatic twist is given gravity, thanks to the talented narration and the story's subtle nod to a secondary character's love of soap operas. Collins shows range with her shrill portrayal of Henry's mother, which contrasts with the quiet pauses of Grace's own protective parents. Andy is Australian, and Morton's accent is good, but overall his voice is devoid of emotion, which contradicts his character's humble and generous nature. Nonetheless, this is a great story enhanced by Collins's outstanding narration. A.L.C. � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Grace After Henry
Eithne Shortall
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