Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Humanity's Grace by Dede Montgomery -- BOOK REVIEW



Humanity's Grace by Dede Montgomery (2021, Bedazzled Ink)

Short stories, linked by a murder, set on the Oregon coast. I’m in!

Humanity's Grace, the new book by Dede Montgomery, author of Beyond the Ripples, is out now in ebook and paperback. Humanity's Grace revisits several of the characters in Beyond the Ripples but is a rich tale in its own right.

An untimely death in downtown Astoria, Oregon is the center point for this collection of 15 linked short stories that reads like a novel. Montgomery uses the murder to bring out the connections – present and past – between the inspecting officer, suspects, townspeople, and other characters. The stories are filled with “real people” moments, good and bad, scenes that remind us of our shared humanity by showing us how we should act or how not to act.

Each story explores the small details – an encounter at the beach, a long ago attempted crime, family arguments, past friends – out of which we weave our lives and our communities. Read together, these 15 stories pack a big emotional punch.


Dede Montgomery described her earlier book, Beyond the Ripples, like this:

Ultimately, this book explores the connections formed between people. I believe that the universe works in a way that offers us multitudes of opportunities to connect and experience others, especially when we pay attention. Beyond the Ripples is also about the power of friendship, and the regrets and choices dotting family relationships. It is about secrets and how we all are given opportunities to forgive, learn, love, and move on. My own childhood act of writing a note, putting it in a bottle, and launching it into the Willamette River gave me the initial inspiration for the beginning of the novel. While an older man living downriver did answer my letter, this novel allowed me to imagine what else could come from something as simple as answering a letter from someone you don’t know.

Read my entire earlier interview with Dede Montgomery from when Beyond the Ripples came out here.  

Here is my short review of Beyond the Ripples:

Various characters come together after one finds a note in a bottle in the Columbia River. Beyond the Ripples is a novel of small town secrets, life choices, and family dramas that pulls you along from the first page. Fans of Maeve Binchey and Anne Tyler will really enjoy this Pacific Northwest version of their kind of engaging, heartfelt stories.

Read more about Humanity's Grace and Beyond the Ripples on Dede Montgomery's blog. You will also find updates on book events, including the upcoming launch party for Humanity's Grace.

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