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Tender Grace by Jackina Stark
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Tender Grace (2009)

by Jackina Stark

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NCLA Review - Audrey Eaton has shut herself off from friends and family in the year and a half following the death of her beloved husband, Tom. A retired teacher, she spends her days watching TV and avoiding personal contacts. She comes to realize that she cannot go on that way. Hoping to find healing, she embarks upon a long trip from her home in Missouri to the Southwest, including a stop she and Tom had hoped to make but never did. She takes Tom's Bible on the trip and begins reading the book of John. As she studies with new eyes the life of Jesus, and sees Him reaching out to her through strangers she meets and old friends she visits along the way, she begins to emerge from her shell. She shares her innermost thoughts and dreams (of Tom) with the reader and jubilantly returns home to her children and grandchildren after two months on the road and a total change in her outlook on life. Rating: 4—MW ( )
  ncla | Dec 22, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed this thought-provoking journey of a widow facing life without her soulmate. It was touching, yet honest. Painful at times, and accented throughout with Audrey's references to the Bible. Though I could not relate to Audrey's position in life, I was definitely able to feel her emotions through Tender Grace. Enough so that I gifted the book to a friend who had recently lost her life partner unexpectedly--with a story very similar to Audrey's. ( )
  staffoa | Nov 2, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
LOVED IT!! ( )
  PoeticaL | Sep 1, 2009 |
Audrey Eaton is a widow. She kisses her husband Tom goodnight and later awakens to find he has not come to bed. She gets up and finds that he has passed away quite unexpectedly in the middle of the night. Overcome by grief at the loss of her husband, Audrey shuts down. She basically disengages from her life and gives up participating in all the things she loves. She stops listening to music, reading, and really conversing with the people around her. In short, she is just going through the motions.

Fifteen months later, Audrey begins recording her thoughts in a journal and an idea begins to take root. She will take a road trip with no specific destination or time frame planned. After informing her children and their families what she is doing, Audrey packs her bags, her laptop, her husband Tom’s bible,and she takes off. When she begins reading Tom’s bible and comes across his notes in the book of John, she begins the true journey that will heal her heart.

Tender Grace is a story of the deepest pain we face in life and of the tender graces that God uses to show that we do not walk alone. Audrey becomes a widow after having retired young to travel and spend time with her husband after their children are grown. She is at a complete loss and trapped in the desire to have her old life back. She has much of her life ahead yet ahead of her and she realizes that it has been so long since she has been grateful for what’s around her. Her need to come to grips with her loss and move on are beautifully written and Audrey seems real. I read this book almost entirely with a lump in my throat.

I highly recommend this one and will definitely look for more by Jackina Stark. (5/5) ( )
  SleepyReader | May 14, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The novel, Tender Grace, is written in the perspective of a recently widowed woman through her daily diary. The widow, Audrey Eaton, is trying to learn how to cope with losing her long-time husband. It has been 2 years since his death and she realizes it is finally time to do something for herself. Audrey decides to take a road trip. The beginning of the book moved me by describing the emotional depression that can come along with losing a loved one. This spoke to me as my boyfriend has just recently lost someone special to him. As the book went along, it did become monotonous as each daily experience was related to something Audrey had been through with her late husband. I feel the main character faced her fears head-on with moving on in life, however, I was not fond of the ending. I was left feeling I needed more of a follow up in how Audrey dealt with day-to-day issues after returning from her trek across the US. Overall, though, good book on the related subject of grieving for a loved one. ( )
  Jamers0212 | May 11, 2009 |
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For my husband, Tony
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He died the way he'd always wanted to.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764205757, Paperback)

Audrey Eaton awakes at three in the morning and gets up to retrieve her husband, Tom, from the recliner where he has fallen asleep watching a ball game. But when she enters the living room and looks at his gentle face in the soft lamp light, she knows their time together is over. Grief attacks her until all she can think about is how much she wants her old life back. Determined to find healing, she embarks on a journey to the one place Tom and she always intended to visit but never did. Along the way, she discovers, through shared experiences with friends old and new, the meaning of the "tender graces" God provides each and every day.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:00 -0400)

Audrey Eaton awakes at three in the morning and goes to retrieve her husband from the recliner where he has fallen asleep watching a ball game. But when she sees his gentle face in the soft lamplight, she knows their time together is over. Attacked by grief and determined to find healing, Audrey embarks on a journey to the place she and Tom always intended to visit but never did. Along the way she discovers, through shared experiences with friends old and new, the meaning of the "tender graces" God provides each and every day.… (more)

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