By: Michelle Schlicher

Published: March 7, 2016

Publisher: Michelle Schlicher

Fiction/Women’s Fiction

I love
finding out about Iowa authors and sharing their books with my readers.
Michelle Schlicher lives near Des Moines and has written her second fiction
novel which she says fits in the category of Contemporary Romance. I’d have to
disagree and I would consider it more a Contemporary Fiction as the romance
didn’t hit me as being the main part of the story. Seeing romance in the genre
is usually a turn-off for me and in case it is for you, I don’t want you to
only think of this novel as a romance. It is so much more.
Gracie’s is forced to return home after leaving suddenly,
ten years ago, without a single goodbye. She left behind a mother and sister as
well as her high school boyfriend and never looked back. Gracie had her reasons
and has kept them a secret, not coming back once to visit her family or friends,
and starting a new life several hours away. When she returns for her mother’s
funeral, the past memories of her difficult childhood with an alcoholic and
abusive father haunt her. She also has to confront Finn, the man she had planned
her future with and never spoke to again. 
Much of Gracie’s story is told in flashback format, either
in her memories or those of her friends and family. I wish the author would
have used a different font style or maybe set these flashbacks off in some way.
These flashbacks would appear in the middle of a present tense part of the
story without any warning and at first made the novel confusing. I would have
to reread parts once I figured out this part was a flashback. As I got used to
the flow of her novel, I was more aware and ready, but having a way to set that
part of the story apart would have made it easier for the reader.
With that aside, Gracie’s story was deeply emotional and
moving. At first, the reader can’t understand her leaving behind a sister and
mother whom she dearly loved, only communicating via email. Gracie seems
selfish and immature. Then as her story is told, one can understand the damage
from her father’s tirades, her need to start fresh, and the secret she kept
from everyone. As Gracie returns and reconnects, the reader joins her in the up
and down emotions of grasping life back in her hometown. Her first meeting with
Finn is difficult and you can feel the hurt and damage Gracie’s leaving did on
him. Their relationship is strong and the reader can feel the love the two
still share. There is hope for a renewed relationship even though a trust
has been shattered and can be difficult to rebuild. So, yes, that
romance piece is there, but it leaves out the fluff and only includes the real
pain and joy of a love shared between two people.

I think Schlicher has a real talent for writing.
This story of redemption and forgiveness is one that readers can connect to and
reflect on mistakes in life. It’s never too late to say “I’m sorry” or to start fresh and sometimes we all need that reminder.

Michelle Schlicher – source
MICHELLE SCHLICHER is the author of the novels THE BLUE JAY and GRACIE’S SONG. A graduate of Iowa State University, she subsequently worked for six years in communications and marketing. She lives in a suburb of Des Moines with her husband and two children. For more on Schlicher, check out her website, HERE
To purchase GRACIE’S SONG, click the photo below:
A post from today, 6 years ago – A Thought for the Day 
A post from today, 4 years ago – Quote for the Day
Thanks to the author for sending a copy of her book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this review. If you choose to purchase the book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 
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