What if the strongest, most controlled person you know starts to slowly and gradually lose control of her memories, her actions, and her life?

This is the question Francine Dorian must face as her mother, well-known advice columnist Grace Dorian, is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

They were the Dorian women: three generations of attractive, strong, intelligent and accomplished women–Grace, Francine, and Sophie. Discovering that the life as they knew it is unraveling, they must test their strength as never before.

Denial is the first reaction for each of them. And then they must decide what to do about The Confidante, the advice column, so Francine begins ghost-writing it. Then there is the autobiography that Grace has contracted to write.

Finding someone to write the book requires a lot more than one would think. In the process of writing, they must uncover the truth about Grace’s early life and the secrets she has buried.

Searching for the answers to their questions lead Francine, Sophie, and Robin (the ghost-writer of the book) down unexpected pathways. When the truths are uncovered, what will happen to the relationships between the women? What will happen to The Confidante? And how will all of these secrets change the future?

Like many character-driven novels, these strong women captured my attention and held my interest all the way through. Even though I had figured out a great deal before I neared the end, I was still intrigued by how it all unfolded.

An emotionally captivating read, I found Shades of Grace: A Novel to yield depth and the page-turning quality I want in a book. Five stars.


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