Saving Grace

Surrounded all of her life by zealous religious figures, Florida Grace Shepherd recounts a story that begins with her father s revival meetings and ends at Uncle Slidell s Christian Fun Golf course.
Saving Grace Surrounded all of her life by zealous religious figures Florida Grace Shepherd recounts a story that begins with her father s revival meetings and ends at Uncle Slidell s Christian Fun Golf course

  • Title: Saving Grace
  • Author: Lee Smith
  • ISBN: 9780345403339
  • Page: 408
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Saving Grace”

    1. Another Lee Smith. I find myself missing her voice when I'm not reading one of her books. Smith follows a family of snake handlers this time. For those of you who aren't from these hills, I'll tell you: snake handlers are holy rollers, people on the fringe of a Christianity that has no room for ambiguities. An interview in the back of this book shows us what Smith was thinking; she says this book really explores the vulnerability of children and how they have absolutely no control over what happ [...]

    2. Good fiction. In talking about children's reading habits, I frequently hear that "it doesn't matter what they read as long as they read." I have always disagreed with that sentiment, because I believe it does matter - on many different levels -- what children and young adults read. What we read eventually affects our value-systems, our vocabularies,our thought patterns, and even to some degree our approach to problem-solving. Observing a book character (a realistic human being) move through the [...]

    3. I try to read books from a lot of different genres, but it seems that I am consistently drawn back to books that are based in Appalachia. Saving Grace is the story of Florida Grace whose father is a snake handling, Pentecostal preacher. It’s a hard life she lives; always poor and always wanting. It seems like everyone is caught up with the enthusiasm her charismatic father exudes but Grace never really feels the presence of God in her life. When she becomes a teenager things begin to change in [...]

    4. The setting (mountains of Appalachia) and the writing captured, then held me. I wavered a lot about the main character Florida Grace. After the perfection of Ivy Rowe in my first Lee Smith novel (Fair and Tender Ladies), maybe my expectations were too high. Grace is the daughter of a serpent-handling Pentecostal traveling preacher who searches for and struggles with her own spirituality. Her journey seemed very believable, but became so sordid and depressing - I wanted her to rise above her upbr [...]

    5. If you have not yet discovered Lee Smith, you must begin reading her works immediately. Fair and Tender Ladies is still my favorite book by her, but this one comes a close second. On the surface, the novel tells the life story of Florida Grace, a young woman whose father travels across the mountains of North Carolina and Georgia living plainly and preaching snake handling and poison drinking to the hill folk. Beneath that surface is the true story of a woman trying to find some sense of who she [...]

    6. I will read anything by Lee Smith because I love the way she writes. Her book, "Fair and Tender Ladies" is still one of my all time favorites; I'm not sure that she could ever top that one, but that aside, I loved this one but wish that it had ended differently. I kind of hated to see the main character take such a downturn in her life, but life can be that way sometimes. I can certainly relate to the main character in more ways than I care to admit.

    7. I really enjoyed this book. There is almost nothing I like more than a snappy narrator and Florida Grace is a hoot. Also, I liked the interesting subject matter - pentacostal-like religious up-bringing. The ending was rather ambiguous, but I like a book that makes me think. I definitely recommend this book.

    8. I finished this one in less than a weekend. It wasn't a book that I expected to like as much as I did and I had never read anything by Lee Smith, but I love stories set in the South and Appalachia. This was a very unique and strangely uplifting story.

    9. This is probably my favorite of Smith's novels, and not just because I love snake-handling, although I really do.

    10. This was the first book by Lee Smith I have ever read and immediately become hooked. She has such an amazing style of writing that caputres your heart.

    11. This is the fourth book I have read by Lee Smith. Generally, I am not diligent about going through the backlist of authors, but Lee Smith’s storytelling abilities have given me confidence that no matter what I pick up of hers, I will be in good hands.Saving Grace is the story of Florida Grace Shepherd, daughter of a snake-handling itinerant preacher named Virgil Shepherd. Florida’s mother had been a dancing girl in Atlanta, with three children already from a previous marriage, when she met a [...]

    12. I think I liked this book, so that is why I went ahead and gave it four stars instead of three. It started out well and I really enjoyed the true to life showing of religious fundamentalism, having been raised in a similar situation myself, though thankfully not as extreme. I enjoyed the authors voice. Being from North Carolina herself she knows the dialect and the words we use, and the tone. I did not, however, like the ending. It left me confused as to whether Gracie went back to all that beli [...]

    13. I really enjoyed this story. Grace is the daughter of a fanatical preacher (the kind that handles snakes and drinks poison) and often feels like she's on the outside of "normal" life, looking in -- especially since she grows up in poverty, even by the modest standards of Scrabble Creek, North Carolina. Her own relationship with God is strained at best -- she often feels that there's something bad inside her, and that badness reveals itself at different points throughout her life. It's a book abo [...]

    14. I came across this book on my shelves and couldn't fully recall the details of it, so I decided to indulge in the pleasures of re-reading. This is one of my favorite Lee Smith books, about the daughter of a charismatic snake-handling preacher. Gracie Shepherd is such a relatable protagonist, even as her problems stop being the result of other people's choices and start being the result of her own. I love that Lee Smith will write about a character like Gracie and not try to "class her up" so tha [...]

    15. I really liked this book. Grace Shepherd has quite a childhood, growing up with a snake-handling, Bible-thumping preacher for a father. Her father is very charismatic and able to reel people in, not only the people who attend his revivals, but his own wife and family for a time. But then, temptation steps into the family and things begin to unravel leaving, in it's wake, much despair. Grace must find her own way, on her own terms. Along the way, she flounders, outright fails, but she never stops [...]

    16. I read this because the author has my same initials, and thus satisfied the requirement for a reading challenge. Finding a book like this is the entire reason to do such a challenge. The story is a first-person narrative from the perspective of Florida Grace Shepherd, the daughter of a snake-handling preacher. Smith did her homework here, and gets snake-handling right from the reputable nonfiction sources I've read. This book is mostly about how being the child of a charismatic fanatic can impac [...]

    17. Have you ever seen a movie and realized that all the best parts were in the trailer. The blurb at the back of Saving Grace is a little like that. The blurb tells you all very misadventure Florida Grace is going to encounter on her journey from Snake-charming preacher's daughter to Preacher's wife to adultery. Grace herself is a wonderful heroine, but all the other characters seem like the paper dolls she and her sister play with early in the book.

    18. When I started reading this book, I was not prepared for the attachment I developed for the main character, Florida Grace. Lee Smith has created a character that is so realistic that it felt like her story could have easily been my own, or one of my friends from elementary school. Grace's journey is raw and uncensored. It expresses the reality of the human condition, and the ongoing struggle between doing what is right, and what feels good. Five stars!

    19. I enjoyed this book but it wasn't nearly as good as Fair & Tender Ladies (my favorite of Smith's). The story followed the lives of the Shepherd family, the father of which was a snake-handler preacher. I felt like the first 2/3 of the book covered a lot of years in a lot of pages, but then towards the end it was like it sped up so much and glossed over so many details that could have been more expanded upon. It was good, but I wouldn't read it again.

    20. Rained out of a long planed for Bicycle ride today, I turned to the stack of used books I purchased last week. Part one of this book e story of a child growing up in Appalachia, the daughter of an extreme Christian fundamentalist who handled serpents, left me more exhausted than any 20 mile cycling event I ever did. I had to take a long break before tackling the highs and lows of the rest of her life.

    21. I really enjoyed this book and read it quite quickly. It reminded me of The Poisonwood Bible in its theme of religion. I loved the setting of rural North Carolina & Tennessee areas as well as the time setting. I fell in love with the character and couldn't wait to read on and find out what was going to happen to her next. Those who love Bloodroot by Amy Greene or Gap Creek by Robert Morgan will like this book.

    22. I really liked this book about a girl growing up in a family in which Dad was called to witness by handling serpents - Appalachian fiction - until the very end. The ending was not supported by anything else that had happened in the book and I felt the author capriciously decided just to call it a day in the easiest way possible. Very disappointing.

    23. If you are unable to tolerate reading about snakes skip this book. This is the story of the daughter of a man possessed with God and the "old time religion". Tragic and fascinating.

    24. This is an unusual, unhappy character portrayal. My rating 2.5.Florida Grace is the eleventh child of a snake handling, revival preacher. Her mother, (her father’s third wife) has a loving spirit while her father is a bit too busy to pay much attention to the young’uns. Grace feels out of step for most of her young life. While her parents are busy ministering she is partially raised by a warm, neighbor family.While Grace is a young teen, an older teen boy shows up claiming a connection with [...]

    25. I do love this author's writing. This book deals with religion and spirituality. It follows the life of one woman from her girlhood to adult. She sees through the lens of her very religious father and then her husband and lover. It takes a long time to see for herself. This talks about religious signs like speaking in tongues, dancing in the spirit or being anointed to drink poison or handle snakes.

    26. Certainly I cared about the narrator, because I was deeply disappointed in the all the people who let her down during her childhood. And eventually I was deeply disappointed in her own bad decisions as an adult too. I had to take a break from the book at one point because I started to feel the book existed only to remind me how disappointing human beings can be. While it was well-written and entirely believable, I found it to be a mostly downbeat kind of read.

    27. Kind of an interesting read. Not a very cheerful one. A lot of how hard it is to overcome hard beginnings and unstable surroundings. Disappointed in later chapters and descriptions of part of the main characters choices

    28. Grace was born into a very poor, sad, serpent handlers life. Religious fanaticism is at the forefront of this story. I didn't like the authors style of writing and I never really believed in the characters.

    29. I really enjoyed reading this book. I was not in love with the ending but it wasn’t completely out of left field.

    30. ?Well done for character and description, but I hate open endings. Love Lee Smith and will read her again soon.

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