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The Mystery of Grace: 03/19/10

With my on-going goal to read more Charles de Lint, I chose his newest adult urban fantasy novel, The Mystery of Grace. I'd actually tag it as a contemporary Gothic horror but the two genres share many points in common.

Grace learned from her beloved Abuelo the fine art of restoring classic American cars. She's a fanatic for Fords to the point of having the company logo (along with many others) tattooed to her body. As she lives in a small south west town, she is well known. For those who don't know her, her tattoos would certainly make a lasting impression. Or so you'd think.

Now The Mystery of Grace wouldn't be a fantasy (or horror) if it was only about a tattooed woman and her love of Fords. But in a strange twist of fate Grace finds herself in an alternate version of her town. Is it the afterlife or something else? Grace's arrival in the alternate town reminds me quite favorably of Stephen King's novella: "The Langoliers" from Four Past Midnight.

The mystery of Grace is to figure out the secret behind the town and how to bring things to a close. De Lint moves quickly and smoothly from Grace learning how the alternate town works, its history (as best as anyone can remember) and how she can walk between her new world and the original (but only on certain days). The moving between the worlds is what keeps the book planted in the fantasy genre but the alternate town itself is pure Gothic horror.

I loved the book. Of the three I've now read (The Wild Wood, Muse and Reverie and The Mystery of Grace), Grace's story is by far my favorite.

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Monday, April, 5, 2010 at 09:56:03


Sounds good. :D I'll have to check out this book.

Comment #2: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 09:45:59


Of all the Charles de Lint books I've read, The Mystery of Grace is so far my favorite.

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