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Summary

Sarah Bennett doesn't remember the night her mother tumbled down the stairs at Bennett House, despite allegedly witnessing the fatal fall. There was talk of foul play, dark whispers, and sidelong glances, all aimed at Sarah, prompting her family to send her to The Laurels, an exclusive asylum in San Francisco, under a cloud of suspicion. Now, on the one-year anniversary of her mother's murder, Sarah has been summoned home. Convinced of her innocence, she returns to Bennett House, hoping to put the broken pieces of her life back together. But when another murder occurs shortly after her arrival, Sarah once again finds herself a suspect, as she is drawn into a web of suspicion and lies.

In order to clear her name, Sarah must remember what happened the fateful night her mother died. But as she works to regain her memory, the real murderer watches, ready to kill again to protect a dark family secret.

©2016 Terry Lynn Thomas (P)2017 Terry Lynn Thomas

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good old fashioned story

If you could sum up The Spirit of Grace in three words, what would they be?

interesting, intriguing fast-moving

What did you like best about this story?

the slight supernatural element

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Sadly i think the performance didn't do the story justice. It was read with an uninterested and monotoned voice. She could have been reading the phone book.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Couldn't say without a spoiler

Any additional comments?

I liked the setting, and the story. Fell short of 5 stars due to the fact i felt it could have been expanded. It all happened very fast without much fill in detail about the characters or the time set. Enjoyed it overall though

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great book

Would you consider the audio edition of The Spirit of Grace to be better than the print version?

Equally as good.

What did you like best about this story?

The mystery aspect to the story and the plot twists

Have you listened to any of Lillian Yves’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, this is the first

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I became very caught up in the story, and therefore eager to know what more was to come.

Any additional comments?

An enjoyable murder mystery set in the time of WWII, and so therefore full of spies and intrigue, and there's a bit of romance thrown in for good measure.
I liked the plot twists, and although I thought I had worked out the mystery it turned out that I hadn't fully.
The story is very good as a stand-alone novel, though there is scope for the characters and story to be continued which indeed it does as this is the first book in the series.
The narrator was also very good and very listenable!
Can highly recommend.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • musiqmom (K Templeton)
  • 10-12-17

Wonderful start to a series

Any additional comments?

Sarah Bennett doesn’t remember anything about the night her mother took a fatal fall down the stairs in their home. Several people believed Sarah was behind her mother’s death. She was sent to live in an exclusive asylum. Sarah still was not able to remember anything about her mother’s death a year later. Her father has her to come home for the anniversary of her mother’s death in hopes this will help Sarah remember what really happened. Upon arriving at home Sarah finds that her father has remarried a much younger lady. Sarah is determined to remember what happened and clear her name but during her investigations, she discovered a dark family secret.

This is a well-written mystery with a lot of suspense. I really enjoyed Sarah’s characters and I really felt for her and wanted her to remember what happened to her mother. The setting in the book really adds to the story and enhances the storyline. This is a great start to a new to me series. I will be checking out more of this series.

I listened to the audio version of this book. The narrator Lillian Yves as a pleasant voice and is easily understood. Her storytelling ability is definitely an enhancement to the story.

I received this audiobook as a prize, all opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephanie Puckett
  • 14-09-17

suspenseful and interesting

I think the narrator brought this story to life very well. She kept a great tone and nice element of suspense with her narration throughout.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Shelly
  • 20-08-17

Great story; production needs work!

Full disclosure: I purchased and read the print version three or four months ago, but was given a free audio file in exchange for an honest review.

Having read and loved the print version of this book, I was more than excited to receive a promotional credit for the Audible file, because I'm an audiobook junkie. (Aren't we all?) But I found that this book is, if the audio stands as it is without further editing, much better in print.

This book is what I consider neo-gothic. Not quite as brooding as earlier gothic mysteries (see Du Maurier, Stewart, Michaels, etc.) the story nevertheless has all the right elements along with the necessary dollop of the supernatural. The characters are interesting and perfectly written for the first in a series; you never want to get too comfortable with characters that you're going to meet repeatedly or there's nothing new to discover. (Oh, I do love Zeke! Perfect foil for Sarah Bennett. I haven't read the second book yet, but I think his story goes a lot deeper!)

You can read the synopsis yourself, and I won't give anything away. Thomas has a deft hand with sudden surprises and her writing style lends itself well to the story and characters. I was very surprised at how much research she put into this; it wasn't until after I finished the book that I realized how immersed I had been in the setting without being dragged out of it by anachronisms. Too many mysteries these days that are set in a specific period are written by lazy researchers, but Thomas isn't one of them. She uses many tiny details along the way to create a rich, rounded WWII era setting.

Now we come to the crux of my problem with this audiobook. The narrator has a lovely voice, and the rather quiet, lilting quality of it would work well with this author. But poor editing makes this a difficult listen at times. There is literally NO dead air between sentences sometimes. The cuts between paragraphs and the rushed feeling during the dialog could be completely fixed by re-editing this book to provide the necessary pacing. If you do whispersnyc, it does adjust a bit to match your reading speed and that does help. If you are simply listening, I recommend adjusting the audio speed from 1x to .75x to get a more enjoyable (and understandable) listening experience.

Now! On to book two...Weeping in the Wings!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marie Theresa Rios
  • 12-08-17

Great read!

Great book, excellent.story and kept me curious. can't wait for more books. Thank you!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sherry P.
  • 12-08-17

Awesome!!

An amazing story and terrific narration!! You feel as if you are there witnessing everything. Highly recommend!!