If you are a Richard Paul Evans fan, you know that you’ll probably need a tissue when reading one of his books, especially toward the end. Grace is no different. This book debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list — and for a good reason. Heralded by Glenn Beck as Evans’ best book yet, readers will quickly find that this high praise is well deserved.
The book opens with a retelling of the well-known tale “The Little Match Girl.” With a precedent set like that, the theme of the story quickly becomes clear. The reader is then thrown into the year 1962 in a poor neighborhood of Salt Lake City. Two brothers build a tree house, which becomes the place they spend almost every minute of their summer hours. With a working mother and a disabled father, they create their own entertainment by searching through the old junk in the garage.
When the main character, Eric, meets a runaway girl named Grace, he offers her a place to sleep in his backyard tree house. Little does Eric know that Grace will be the one helping him and changing his life forever.
But more than the story, and even more than the message, something extraordinary arises out of the pages: a mission from the author. Richard Paul Evans is a person who not only “talks the talk” but walks the walk. He’s launched a new project in conjunction with his charity, The Christmas Box International, called The Christmas Box Initiative. His goal? To help every youth in America who is aging out of foster care. It doesn’t take much imagination to see what a difficult road an 18-year-old has ahead of him with no parental support. Many of these youth simply become homeless. But The Christmas Box Initiative provides Christmas Box Lifestart Kits to the youths as they leave foster care. And that’s only the first phase.
Rated: Mild for theme of child abuse