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Saving Grace    by Katherine Spencer order for
Saving Grace
by Katherine Spencer
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Furious at God for taking her brother Matt in a car accident, Grace is finding it hard to return to school at the end of the summer. Nobody knows what to say to her, and hanging out with their mutual friends is not something Grace will ever be ready to do.

Her parents find comfort in their activities at the church, especially an event for the homeless that will be dedicated to Matt. Grace blames herself for Matt's death. She was the one who was supposed to pick up the milk that day. Matt agreed to go only after she begged him.

Grace finds a new group to replace her old friends. She overlooks their faults as she throws herself into alcohol and partying to forget. When her old friends have given up on her and her new friends drop her after a night of clubbing where she freaks out in a convenience store, Grace has one friend who doesn't turn away no matter how poorly she acts. Philomena's calm and serenity never waiver.

Grace throws herself into her studies to make up for time lost, but she still can't come to terms with her guilt and face a life without Matt. Although Grace is a likable character in spite of her faults, Philomena is hard to believe. She gives comfort and advice that Grace finds impossible to understand. The reader must decide whether Philomena is real or a figment of Grace's desire to accept her brother's death and go on with her life.

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