Grace, by Nancy Allen
In this gripping and poignant tale, Catherine Finley leaves her dream job and the heartbreak of a failed relationship to take a new position closer to her ailing father, Douglas. As the undergraduate dean at Franklin College, she quickly discovers the history of her boss’s sexual abuse. When she becomes his latest victim, she finds herself in conflict with the college’s female president who will do anything to protect its secrets.
Catherine seeks refuge in visits to her father’s shore home, but powerful memories unsettle her. A web of memories reveals Douglas’s meaningful romance in the 1960s with Grace, a pioneer in the Civil Rights Movement, and his disappointment that social justice promised during that turbulent time was never fully realized. Catherine’s professional and personal worlds collide as she discovers the College’s secrets are woven into her father’s story.
Nancy Allen’s Grace is a stirring investigation of sexual politics and women’s tenuous relationship with power. The novel’s lyric prose conveys the power of memory to shape and redefine struggles with faith, self-doubt, and love lost.