Wednesday 6 February 2019

The Truths & Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris @Anstey_Harris @simonschusterUK @jessbarratt88 #GraceTriumphs

Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris was published in hardback by Simon and Schuster on 10 January 2019. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

There are times when it's really difficult to believe that a novel is a debut, and this is one of those times. The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton reads beautifully, with harmony and a lyricism that perfectly fits with the theme of the story.

Grace lives a quiet life in a small English village. She repairs musical instruments in her shop, but she doesn't play her cello in public any more. She was humiliated whilst at music college and the memories of that event have never left her.

Grace has been in a relationship with David for eight years. They split their time between her home in England, and Paris. They are deeply in love, sharing the same interests and Grace's long-term plans include settling down with David, and a house full of children. Until the day that David saves a woman who falls in front of a Metro train.  This selfless act ruins Grace's life; revealing secrets that she had no idea were hidden and a devastation that seems insurmountable.

With David no longer by her side, Grace feels empty and takes her feelings out on her precious musical instruments. However, it is a very unlikely pair of friends who save her, care for her and encourage her.
Nadia; an angry teenager, full of hate for her parents and friends, yet musically talented beyond belief, and Maurice Williams, an octogenarian whose wise words and years of experience become a soothing balm for Grace.

At its heart, this novel is a story of friendship, and how the most unusual people can have the most impact. It is also a study in loving relationships, and how subterfuge and lies can rarely be hidden.

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton is a powerful and passionate novel, with tragedy and heartbreak, yet at the same time it is so uplifting and heartwarming. Filled with characters that are fully formed and entirely believable. Astute, compelling and extremely readable.

Anstey Harris is based by the seaside in south-east England where she lives with her violinmaker husband and two dogs. She teaches creative writing in the community, local schools, and as an associate lecturer for Christchurch University in Canterbury.

Anstey writes about the things that make people tick, the things that bind us and the things that can rip us apart. In 2015, she won the H G Wells Short Story Prize for her story, Ruby. In novels, Anstey tries to celebrate uplifting ideas and prove that life is good and that happiness is available to everyone once we work out where to look (usually inside ourselves). Her short stories tend not to end quite so well...

Things that interest Anstey include her children and granddaughter, green issues and conservation, adoption and adoption reunion (she is an adopted child, born in an unmarried mothers' home in Liverpool in 1965), stepfamilies, dogs, and food. Always food. She would love to be on Masterchef but would never recover from the humiliation if she got sent home in the first round.

Website :
Twitter: @Anstey_Harris
Author Page on Facebook

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