Warm, insightful and poignant, Freeing Grace tells the story of a young couple: David, curate of an inner-city parish, and Leila, his Nigerian-born wife. Unable to have children of their own, they’re desperate for a family. When they finally hear they’ve been approved to adopt a baby, Grace, they can scarcely believe their good fortune.
There’s just one problem for which David and Leila cannot plan; Grace’s birth family – the enigmatic, charismatic Harrisons. Enlisting their friend, the feckless, charming New Zealander, Jake Kelly – who’s half in love with all of them, one way or another – the Harrisons send him on a quest that will force a confrontation. Ultimately, each has a terrible decision to make.
Everyone only wants what’s best for Grace – but who can say exactly what that is?
“This is an astounding novel, completely engrossing, so confident, adept and assured that it is hard to believe it is a debut. It is a story about communication, and about rules that beg to be broken, but most of all it is a story about people—readily identifiable people, people you come to care about, people who live on after the last page is read. Allen & Unwin are the publishers, and it hits the New Zealand bookstores at the end of next month. Grab it, even if you have to queue. ” Joan Druett
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“No-one is a villain here and the tale is satisfyingly complex and involving.” Annabel Lawson, Country Style, September 2010
“You will be intrigued, and utterly delighted with this complex tale. Freeing Grace ticks all the boxes for a fine narrative to entertain, and inform you.” Nina Valentine, Ballarat Courier, July 2010
“I found the prologue very exciting, fast moving, and informative. I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next.” Rhonda Parish, Central Coast Express-Advocate, July 2010
“A compelling look at the nature of home and family.” Who Weekly, August 2010
“She surprises by adding an unexpected dimension to her characters that fleshes them out nicely.” Lucy Clark, Sunday Telegraph, July 2010
“An honest portrayal of how events and actions affect everyone in the family.” Donna McIntyre, Weekend Herald, August 2010
“Freeing Grace is a very readable, emotionally rich story that revolves around the issue of adoption.” Margie Thompson, Weekend Press, July 2010
“She writes with understanding and insight into both sides of the adoption process and the emotional rollercoaster both birth and adoptive parents go through.” Elizabeth Winter, Saturday Express, August 2010
“An absorbing examination of fraught family dynamics and complex social issues, this book has been billed as one which will appeal to devotees of Joanna Trollope and Jodi Picoult – and although these two writers have set the bar in their literary genre almost impossibly high, Norman has put down the clearest of markers that she is hot on their heels.” Katherine Whitbourn, Daily Mail, July 2011
‘Lovers of Jodi Picoult will relish this tale of human dilemma. All in all an enjoyable and gripping read which would doubtless give rise to a lively debate for a reading group.’ New Books July/August 2011