It wasn’t possible that Jay could like me better than Stella – Stella’s the pretty one. I’m short and frizzy-haired and just generally blah. Maybe he was concussed and he’d mixed up our names. That would be it.
Bridie and Stella have been best friends for ever, and nothing is going to change that. So, as war looms, they are united in their opposition, and attend a peace rally. But when they rescue a boy who is attacked at the rally it starts a chain of events which sees their friendship threatened.
Jay, the boy they rescue, seems to be attracted to Bridie – but is Stella who always gets the boys. There is more. Jay is a committed Christian, and as Bridie gets to know him and his religion, the strain it places on her friendship with Stella is immense. Bridie isn’t even sure she can be friends with Stella any more.
Winter of Grace explores issues of friendship, religion, and family relationships, as Bridie struggles in her search for meaning to life and a need to belong. Both her friend Stella and her mother have issues with organised religion, and Bridie is pressured by the opposing views of those two and of her new friends. Author Constable is to be commended for exploring an issue not often covered in teen fiction and for avoiding being prescriptive or simplistic in the resolution.
Part of the Girlfriend Fiction series, and with a romantic element, Winter of Grace will appeal to teen girls.
Winter of Grace, by Kate Constable
Allen & Unwin, 2009
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