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Summary

Having justly earned her reputation as a master storyteller, Lee Smith's name evokes images of authentic country folk struggling through some of life's most arduous tests. Saving Grace adds a stunning spiritual dimension. The daughter of a snake-handling preacher who ignores the needs of his destitute family, Florida Grace doesn't think much of Jesus. He's the reason she's lived in squalor most of her life. He certainly doesn't keep her womanizing zealot of a father on the straight and narrow. In fact, Jesus hasn't been there for her through her failed marriage, or the death of her son. But in one shining moment everything changes when He calls out to her, and she returns to her roots to heed His call.

Narrator Christina Moore gives perfect voice to the vulnerability and wisdom of a young woman on a turbulent spiritual journey.

©1995 Lee Smith; (P)2003 Recorded Books

Critic reviews

"Ms. Smith possesses a fine talent for creating narrative voices, whether the ungrammatical eloquence of a hill-country healer or the educated affectations of a Richmond gentleman." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A compelling journey into all matters southern and spiritual." (The Boston Globe)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara
  • 04-12-10

Not (just) for Christians

I really like the character of Grace and the straightforward way she tells the story of her bizarre (to me) life in a Christian Cult. More than about any particular religion, it is about how are lives are shaped by the beliefs of those around us.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joyce
  • 30-06-10

loved it

I read this book a couple of monthes ago but I just can't get it of my mind. I feel as though I know the families envolved personally. The book was great and brought to life by Christina Moore, I would recomend this to everyone. 2 thumbs up

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 06-05-10

a great story teller

this story is not for young children adult situations leaves the judgement of the ending up to the reader very human story not typical

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • MSEreads
  • 22-01-18

Unusual, unhappy character portrayal.

Florida Grace is the eleventh child of a snake handling, revival preacher. Her mother, (her father’s third wife) has a loving spirit while her father is a bit too busy to pay much attention to the young’uns. Grace feels out of step for most of her young life. While her parents are busy ministering she is partially raised by a warm, neighbor family.

While Grace is a young teen, an older teen boy shows up claiming a connection with her father. He wrangles a spot in the household and uses his charm to twist his relationship with Grace and others. When Grace’s mother dies, her father takes Grace and sets out on the road to continue his preaching. After a time Grace is abandoned and ends up taken in by the church’s strict pastor. The pastor lives with an equally strict and dour sister who isn’t thrilled to have Grace become part of the family.

Live brings some moments of joy to Grace but more times of trouble, confusion and heartache. Some of the further troubles are brought about by Grace’s own actions which ultimately bring her full circle to her childhood home where she must face herself and the God who has long pursued her.

The story setting is bleak, although the history is eccentrically fascinating. I was glad that Grace is a strong character, at times even vibrant through her struggles. I felt sorrow at the failings in her childhood and in her adult life. I could understand her anger and bitterness and resistance to a God whose truths were so twisted by her father and others close to him.

The major tone of the story is hopelessness. I am not a fan of depressing, family dramas. The blurb gave me hope that there was a revelation in Grace’s story. I trudged through the sadness looking and hoping for the light. The revelation doesn’t come until the very end and I was disappointed by what I found to be a very weak concluding scene.

This is well written with a wonderful depth of description and emotion. Still, I can’t say that I enjoyed the story. It is not really a Christian novel but more an expose of a sad, twisted history of a small religious sect. Readers who like drama, history and in depth character portrayal might find this an interesting read or listen.

Audio Notes: Christina Moore does a good job with the narration which gives extra to my rating. She conveys the appropriate tone of Grace’s emotions throughout the story. I am glad (I think) I listened to this in audio as I am pretty sure I would have skipped to the end if I had a print/ebook version.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • DIYer
  • 14-04-16

it's just religious voyeurism

while well written the story is simply voyeurism on a strange corner of religious habit. there is no resolution and Grace isn't saved

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Norma
  • 29-05-13

Totally Disgusting!

Would you try another book from Lee Smith and/or Christina Moore?

No way would I read another book by Lee Smith.
I have listened to books by Christina Moore and enjoyed them but I can't honestly remember anything about her reading of this book because I was so put off with the story.

Any additional comments?

Presenting this as a Christian book was so misleading. I kept hoping it would turn a corner, but it only got worse. I wish I had read the other comments before buying it.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Clean-Cut Fun-Loving Family
  • 16-06-10

Don't waste your time

I wish I had spent my time on a much more worthy book. It did not leave me uplifted, inspired or motivated. The religion in this book was not true Christianity even though the characters talked about Jesus. It was closer to some sort of cult. There was some filthy language and some disgusting sexual situations as well. I'm taking time to write this review in the hope that I will save someone from wasting their time on this book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Anna
  • 04-06-10

not a good read

I couldn't finish it. It was very slow, and I didn't like the way portrayed Christians.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful