“They can call it magic.
I can call it madness.
But one thing is certain.
There is no grace here.”
Garner County lives in fear of the magic that overtakes girls as they turn sixteen. For this reason, they banish them for one year, to embrace and be purified of their magic, ready to return home and take up their roles as obedient wives.
16 year old Tierney has grown up dreaming of more. She’s not interested in being someone’s oppressed wife, but rather working the land as a labourer. She’s been given more freedom than most, growing up as somewhat of a tomboy, with her physician father giving her lessons usually reserved for boys. But, before the rest of her life can begin, she must survive the Grace Year.
Tierney trudges into the wild, hoping to work together to try and get through the year with as many alive as possible. But some have other ideas. As group hysteria takes over the group, – is it magic? Madness? – their every move is silently watched by the poachers out to score a kill. The body parts and even flesh of the girls are deemed lucky, a potent life force to be sold.
So with madness taking over inside the camp, and the unpleasant prospects of the knife outside, can Tierney overcome the Grace Year?
I really enjoyed this book. The hysteria of the girls and the patriarchal society was reminiscent of The Crucible, while the solidarity of the girls (at times) reminded me of the Handmaid’s Tale. The secrecy around it all reminded me of the film The Village too! I was kept guessing at every turn. It’s bleak and graphic in parts, but an absorbing, fast read. I like how the structure of the seasons followed how the group devolved. And that ending 🤯. Have you read this one yet? What did you think?