Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Meaning of Grace' by Deborah Forster

The Meaning of Grace 

by Deborah Forster

Vintage, $32.95 pb, 288 pp, 9781742755342

Three years after her first novel, The Book of Emmett, which chronicled the trials and tribulations of a troubled family, Melbourne writer Deborah Forster covers similar territory in her second, The Meaning of Grace. It opens with an elderly woman named Grace dying of cancer in hospital, then rewinds several decades, back to when a much younger Grace and her children moved to the seaside town of Yarrabeen. They have left behind Ian, Grace’s husband and the children’s father, who suffers from chronic depression and has lost his job. He commits suicide shortly after his family leaves. In the following pages, readers learn about the tumultuous lives of Grace and her offspring. We follow Grace as she holds down two jobs to support her children. We learn about the rivalry between her daughters Edie and Juliet, and about the breakdown of her son Ted’s marriage. We follow Grace as she comes to terms with her illness.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Published in May 2012 no. 341
Jay Daniel Thompson

Jay Daniel Thompson

Jay Daniel Thompson lectures in the Media and Communications program at the University of Melbourne. For information on his research achievements, see his website: https://unimelb.academia.edu/JayDanielThompson

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.