Full of Grace by Dorothea Benton Frank is the second novel by Frank that I've read this summer. The first Folly Beach, got me even more excited about a possible South Carolina vacation that I decided I needed to check out her other books.
The move from New Jersey to Hilton Head, South Carolina, wasn't easy for the Russo family—difficult enough for Big Al and Connie, but even harder for their daughter Maria Graziella, who insists on being called Grace. At thirty-one and still, shockingly, unmarried, Grace has scandalized her staunchly traditional Italian family by moving in with her boyfriend Michael—who, though a truly great guy, is agnostic, commitment-phobic, a scientist, and (horror of horrors) Irish!
Grace adores her parents even though they drive her crazy—and she knows they'd love Michael if they got to know him, but Big Al won't let him into their house. And so the stage is set for a major showdown—which, along with a devastating, unexpected crisis and, perhaps, a miracle or two, just might change Grace's outlook on love, family, and her new life in the new South.
Okay to be honest I picked this up without read the whole description. I decided to read this one because it also covered someone moving from Jersey to Carolina (like Folly Beach) so I thought I'd get kinda the same stuff. While Frank's humor is present in the book it was just kinda eh for me. I never got behind Grace (the narrator's voice) it seemed kinda whiney and bratty and just no. I am definitely not done with her books but I was disappointed. I did still read the book in 24 hours!
I also feel like I've read the premise of the book before and everything was super predictable. Basically, Grace's love is super ill and she has all these questions about the Catholic church because her family is staunchly Catholic and won't accept her boyfriend and calls him the Irish Baby Killer and then they visit Mexico City and just I felt like I read a book like this before but can't remember all the details.
That being said her family did crack me up! It kind of reminded me of how Janet Evanovich writes her awesome characters in the Stephanie Plum series. Hysterical but lovable!
It brought up a lot of interesting questions that could be used in book discussions. A lot of moral questions and how you have to look at yourself and see how you want God to be a part of your life and how the Church's position helps you frame your own outlook and guides you to making decisions.
Would you date someone your family didn't approve of? How important is religion in a relationship to you? Do you find yourself in turmoil with your religions 'beliefs'' and your own beliefs?