During my time in quarantine, I have been doing some great reading and a novel that I am so excited to discuss is The Grace Year by Kim Liggett. This novel overtook my life for the 2 days it took me to read it, and I cannot recommend it enough!
The Grace Year is set in a world where girls are told they have powers that lure men into their beds and make the women jealous. When these girls are 16, they are sent away for one year, their Grace year. Before the girls are sent away, they are to be picked from the eligible boys of their town to be married. This novel follows Tierney, a girl who has grown up hanging out with boys and being taught masculine things from her dad. She is feisty, and doesn’t let anyone tell her off, which makes her a fantastic narrator. I don’t want to spoil anymore than that but trust me, it is so intriguing and written absolutely perfectly.
The reason that I fell in love with this book is because of the feminist ideals that it carries in every sentence. Obviously, the town that they live in is so misogynistic and patriarchal, but I believe this is written as an exaggeration of our world, and in order to fully understand how awful it is, it must be overly terrible. Liggett shows how our world impacts girls and their lives, and favours men in every way. There were so many amazing quotes in this text that I can’t wait for more people to read! It is such an inspiring and empowering tale that I literally would reread right now.
The novel also discusses the topic of female friendships, which I was so happy to see. Women are always taught to compare and contrast themselves with other women, almost as if we are in competition with each other. Liggett, once again, points this out in a very dramatic way, having the girls turn on each other the second they get to their new home for the year. It’s an incredible commentary on how women should support each other because we truly need each other. We need that support because we are living such different lives than men, and it’s hard to find that support in a patriarchal society. The growth these girls go through is evident and amazing to see, and I loved seeing the absolute strength that they have. Again, such an empowering book that shows women we can do anything!
There is a plot twist at the end of the novel that I would like to state right here that I saw coming. Despite that, it was so incredibly done and I need someone to read this so we can discuss it! This book is absolutely incredible and I cannot recommend it enough! I actually heard mixed reviews before I read it, but I literally cannot even imagine how one would not like this book unless they are sexist and don’t want to see women succeeding. There is truly nothing I would change in this novel and I cannot wait to reread it soon!