Friday, March 26, 2021

Courage Without Grace by Jeannie Zokan

 Hello, For the Love of Dewey Readers!


We were super excited when author Jeannie Zokan reached out to ask us if we would review her latest novel Courage Without Grace, which is to be released on March 30, 2021.  As you can probably tell by my lack of reviews, I haven’t been motivated to read as much as I usually am (let’s blame it on pandemic life), so I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish this novel before the 30th. However, once I started reading it I couldn’t stop.  This novel turned out to be just what I needed to get me out of my reading (and reviewing) slump. 


About the Book: Courage Without Grace is Zokan’s second novel, following The Existence of Pity (2016).  You can read our review on the Existence of Pity, here.  This novel follows the story of Josie Wales, who grew up as a missionary in Colombia, and now lives in Washington, D.C. and works as a palm reader. 


The characters in this novel are in their mid 20s, which to me makes this a piece of “new adult fiction.” 


In the novel, Josie is learning to find herself.  She’s been in a long term relationship with Tom, who lost his parents in a violent way in Colombia.  The relationship isn’t working out, and Josie knows she should move on, but she can’t because of something (or rather someone who is holding her back.)


This novel is a quick read.  It’s more than just a self discovery and a suspenseful romance with thriller-esc moments, as the novel also tackles bigger issues such as eating disorders, overcoming guilt from past mistakes, and the line between believing in something vs. forcing your beliefs and judgment on others. 


I really enjoy how Zokan blends Christian elements with spiritual elements, in this case, palm reading. It reminded me of how as a Christian (side note: I was also Deacon Jess for a while) I also believe in the spiritual world of healing crystals, palm readings, etc. I like how Zokan opens the door for balance and harmony with all things both spiritual and religious. This was also something I found with Zokan’s first novel. 


It took me a while to realize that the characters (Josie, etc.) are the same characters in The Existence of Pity, probably because it’s been a LONG time since I read Zokan’s first novel.  That being said, you don’t need to read the Existence of Pity to enjoy Courage Without Grace, but I think reading both definitely enhances the reading experience and helps to give some insight into the character’s lives- especially into the past of Tom and his brother Jack.


I give this novel a For the Love of Dewey rating of 5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.


Until the next read! 


~Jessica


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