Thursday, January 20, 2022

Humanity's Grace by Dede Montgomery -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


What book captured your fancy this week? Please share the opening sentence (or so) with us here on Book Beginnings on Fridays!


My Book Beginning this week is from a new book by an Oregon author I enjoy a lot, Dede Montgomery:

What happened in that last moment before the moment after? Paul's hands had shot up to cover his ears, their trembling fingers adorned by nails chewed down to the quick.

-- from Humanity's Grace by Dede Montgomery, out now from Bedazzled Ink. I wanted to give two sentences of that opening because the first sentence alone is too much of a brain twister!

Humanity's Grace is a collection of 15 linked short stories that reads like a novel. The stories are linked by characters that cross paths and their shared setting in contemporary Astoria, Oregon. They are also linked by their connection to a murder in the small, coastal community. 


Please link to your Book Beginning post, not your blog home page or social media profile page. If you post on or share to social media, please sue the hashtag #bookbeginnings so we can find each other. 

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Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.


From Humanity's Grace

Anne hadn't been paying attention to all that he said. Her mind was preoccupied still with the struggle of reading job descriptions she was over qualified for but knew she could never land.

You can read my review of Humanity's Grace here

Salty air, low lying clouds, and crooning of seagulls near the towering Astoria Column and the flowing Columbia River set the scene for Humanity's Grace, a collection of linked short stories. Frank, Anne, Monica, and Sarah all reappear from the pages of Montgomery's novel, Beyond the Ripples. New characters: An elderly mother and her son, a police office and spouse, a childhood friend, a counselor, a bystander appear, are all uniquely connected to a murder in downtown Astoria, Oregon.

Frank's untimely death creates a spectrum of consequences for his loved ones, acquaintances, and strangers. The ensuing murder accusation throws a trio of characters into darkness, as they reassess earlier beliefs, past decisions and actions. Other characters are impacted in unique and unexpected ways. A police officer is haunted by his past. A young woman awakens from a vivid dream of a friend from before. A mother wonders what she did wrong. A son aches for others to be kind. A daughter questions her father's past, while her mother remembers parts of the man she had forgotten. A stranger ponders the significance of a message she's received.

The characters in Humanity's Grace intertwine as they laugh, scream, and cry, do good or create evil. Most of all, they meander through sorrow and sadness, joy and regret, as they remind the reader of the startling and collective beauty of life's connections.


  1. This looks good. Have a great weekend!

  2. Quite the twisty first sentence. But it also definitely makes me want to read more.

  3. A lot of characters to follow - it sounds complicated.

    1. As you get to know them, you feel like you are part of the community.

  4. My favorite type of short story collections are the ones in which the stories are connected somehow. I really like what you shared. I'd be interested in trying this one. Have a great weekend! Thank you for hosting!

    1. I like that too -- when the stories all share a common thread. Thank you and enjoy your weekend!

  5. Hope it's a good one! Happy weekend!

  6. What a striking first sentence. I had to read it three times to fully understand it.


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