When Rachel leaves school, she thinks she knows everything there is to know.
But when she meets the mysterious Mr Preston and he offers her a job, she is no longer sure. Her job is to look after Grace – a brain-damaged woman who doesn’t talk. Rachel thinks the job is a wonderful opportunity – she gets to live in a beautfiul house close to Uni, and gets paid for babysitting and a bit of cleaning.
The reality is a little harder. She has to contend with the responsibilities of looking after a once vibrant woman who seems to be no longer able to think for herself, as well as contending with rude neighbours and Grace’s predatory sisters. At the same time she is trying to come to grips with Grace’s past and with her own identity.
This is a book with some intense soul-searching and serious issues, but manages at the same time to be funny, with Rachel’s eccentric almost-adult viewpoint and occasional switches from past to present tense.
A short listed candidate for the 2002 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards (Older Readers Category), Finding Grace will appeal to readers aged sixteen to adult.
Finding Grace, by Alyssa Brugman
Allen & Unwin, 2001