Grace Grows was an unexpected pleasure to read and introduced me to a set of characters that have managed to worm their way into my heart. While, as the title suggest, the storyline focuses on how Grace grows as a person, it’s also a quirky romance story, with Grace and the very lovable Tyler. It’s that love story that kept me enthralled and enduring bouts of carsickness until I could get to the end.
Grace was quirkily neurotic and, at times, frustrating, but she was a woman that you wanted to find her way to who and what she was supposed to be. She didn’t take a conventional path and it wasn’t easy, but it was rewarding when she finally got there. That’s not to say she always made a choice that I (or other readers) would have liked, but it made me like/love her even more when she finally got it right.
Tyler was just lovable. I’m not sure I could even describe how much I loved him. He grew in the story too, as his career took off. But at his core, he was still that goofy, likable guy who Grace met when he was walking her neighbor’s dogs. You felt for him as Grace struggled to get to the place where she could finally admit what they had between them. He had such a big heart and expressed himself in such a huge way that I (personally) needed Grace to love him just as big.
Grace Barnum had her life mapped out, living with a pharmaceutical patent attorney and editing school textbooks, but everything was turned upside down the day she met Tyler Wilkie as he tried to figure out what to do with his dog walking charges on a rainy day. From that moment forward, everything changed and Grace was left to figure out who she was, what she wanted and just what it mean to be loved by Tyler Wilkie.
Grace Barnum’s life is precariously balanced on sensible choices and uncomfortable compromise. She dutifully edits textbooks that, she fears, may be more harmful than helpful to kids. She is engaged to a patent attorney who is steady and reliable. She has a cautious relationship with her fascinating father, a renowned New York painter, and she prefers her mom slightly drunk.
Always a planner, Grace feels prepared for most eventualities. Until the responsibility-challenged Tyler Wilkie shows up. Fresh in town from the Poconos, Tyler has warm eyes, a country drawl, and a smile that makes Grace drop things. Worst of all, he writes devastating songs. About her.
Tyler reaches something in Grace, something she needs, but can't admit to. Something she wants, but won't succumb to. Tyler Wilkie loves Grace Barnum and ruins everything. And Grace grows.