When they turn sixteen, girls in Garner County are told they come into their magic. They have power over men and power to drive other women mad with jealousy. Which is why they are banished to the wilderness for a year: to get rid of their magic and return ready to be wives. No one speaks of the Grace Year. It is forbidden. No one knows what happens there.
Tierney James hates how things are. She hates how women turn on each other and how men have all the power. She just wants to survive her Grace Year and get on with her life. She knows she’ll never be a wife, so survival is her goal. But soon she realizes there is more to fear than the wilderness, or even the poachers who fight to steal any of the girls and sell their parts on the black market.
The real danger may lie in each other.
This book. This book. I’ve seen comparisons to The Handmaid’s Tale, and it does have that sort of feel. But I didn’t care for that novel, and I loved this one. This society was horrifying to me. Women are worse than second-class citizens, but even worse than that was the way they treated each other. They are truly horrible to each other—and it made me almost nauseous to read.
This is a tale full of darkness and danger, mistakes and madness, but it’s a tale of hope nonetheless, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Kim Liggett left the rural Midwest for New York City when she was sixteen. The Grace Year is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)