As a huge fan of Charles de Lint, I was anxious upon reading his newest book in three years. I had grown to love the characters of Newford, and this book, The Mystery of Grace, has nothing to do with them. In fact, this book is set in the American Southwest, introducing totally new characters yet still delivering the amazing storytelling magic that the author is known, and loved, for.
The haunting story of a beautiful woman named Grace, this book crosses a number of genres as it tells of the love between Grace and a man named John Burns in the realms of both fantasy and the supernatural. This is not a typical romance: Grace, a tattooed lovely who has a passion for working on cars, crosses between the world of life and the world of the hereafter, where she must deal with not just her newfound status but also with the loss she left behind.
Itís typical de Lint all the way, with characters that you fall in love with upon meeting, words that dance and sparkle on the page, and a storyline that haunts you long after you finish reading - just as Grace is haunted by the life she left behind and the next path along her destiny.
The title, of course, is where the meaning of this story lies. Itís not just about the mystery of this woman named Grace who struggles with letting go of the old and accepting the unknown of the new, but the mystery of grace itself as we struggle with life, death and everything that comes beyond that veil. Add to that the rich Southwestern feel and flair and culture, and you have a story as unforgettable as any of de Lintís Newford books. Perhaps The Mystery of Grace is a stand-alone novel, but my wish is that we one day get to see Grace again, in any lifeÖ