Green Giants – Irish Author Spotlight #8: Beyond Grace’s Rainbow by Carmel Harrington

December 13, 2013 Book review, Green Giants 10 ★★★★½

Green Giants is my feature where I share some of my favourite books by Irish Authors.   I’m passionate about Irish Authors, there is a great and exciting mix of books to choose from, hopefully you will find something new to try.  Today I’m sharing a fantastic debut novel from an author to watch.

I’ll be honest, I requested this book on NetGalley for two reasons.  One it was an Irish author and two it was a winner of the March 2013 Kindle Book awards.  And I didn’t pay much attention to the book blurb so when I opened it and realised it was a book with a cancer storyline, my heart sank a little as I knew it would be emotional and I was scared.  I need not have feared as this emotive issue was handled expertly and it was an emotional read but also heart-warming, full of life and surprisingly fun.

Green Giants – Irish Author Spotlight #8: Beyond Grace’s Rainbow by Carmel HarringtonBeyond Grace's Rainbow by Carmel Harrington
Published by HarperCollins UK on 12 Sept 2013
Genres: Chick Lit
Pages: 326
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

Beyond Grace’s Rainbow is the deeply emotional and poignant story of young single mother Grace Devlin.

When Grace is diagnosed with cancer her best chance of survival is to find a bone marrow transplant from a family member. Only Grace is adopted and her one previous attempt to connect with her birth mother resulted in bitter disappointment.

But with her young son, Jack, to think about, and the return of her ex Liam, Jack’s father, reminding her of feelings she’d thought she’d buried long ago, Grace refuses to give up hope just yet. With the help of her friends she bravely embarks on a journey of discovery.

This search will bring her from her home in vibrant Dublin to the unspoilt beauty of Wexford where she must unravel a web of lies and deceit that has spanned over thirty years.

With a wonderful cast of supporting characters and plenty of charm, this will have you laughing and crying at the turn of a page.

First Line of Beyond Grace’s Rainbow:

“Grace felt like she floating up the ceiling.”

My Thoughts on Beyond Grace’s Rainbow :

If like me you are scared about reading a book with a cancer storyline, think again!  Trust me!  Yes, this books will take all your emotions and stir them up until they become stiff enough to pierce to your heart.  But at the centre of this book is a group of friends who add a light hearted, fun touch to the storyline.  You have Grace, her cousin Tara and Tara’s husband Sean, their gay friends Tom and Gerry (yes, seriously!) and their single girlfriend Abby.  Together these guys make a fantastic support group for each other but more than that they know how to live life to the fullest and how to smile though the hard days.  No matter how serious the situation, there is always a joke to be cracked or a well timed quip to help ease the tension.  It is hard not to fall under their spell and to become wrapped up in all their lives.

There is a lot of background drama going on also.  Grace’s ex-partner Liam appears back on the scene and despite a few initial misgivings, I loved him.  He might have been a jerk in the past but he swiftly convinced me that he was a good guy who followed the wrong path but is now prepared to put Grace and Jack first.  Was I right?  Sorry, no spoilers!

In addition, Grace urgently needs a blood marrow donor but as a person who adopted as a baby tracking down her birth family is going to be intense. The adoption story line gave me heart palpitations as we uncovered the murky past.  It added an element of mystery and following Tom and Gerry as they did some private investigations was highly entertaining.

Overall this book was a LOT more fun that I expected.  I grew to love the characters but none more so than Grace, Liam and their son Jack.  This little family unit wrenched at my heart and my palms were sweaty as I turned pages anxiously hoping against hope that all could possibly work out.  Hats off to Carmel Harrington for creating characters that touched me so much.  I am really looking forward to seeing what future books she comes up with.

Who should read Beyond Grace’s Rainbow?

I’d highly recommend this to those who like chick-lit books with meaningful, realistic storylines and are not afraid of books that may break their heart.  And to all those who like strong, engaging characters.  Go for it!

Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-half-stars


Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperImpulse for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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10 Responses to “Green Giants – Irish Author Spotlight #8: Beyond Grace’s Rainbow by Carmel Harrington”

  1. carmelharrington

    I’m humble by your review, I really am. Thankyou for such an indepth review and I love how you structure your critique with at a glance ratings for each part of the book. Thankyou Trish, much appreciated.
    And I’m giggling a bit at the Green Giants title. At 5’10, I’ve been called a giant before, but never a green one! I must admit, I kind of like it x
    carmelharrington recently posted…Christmas Guest Blogger Special – Author Brigid Coady in the hotseat!

  2. Lark

    Sounds good; I’ll have to look for it here. Hey, have you read any more Agatha Christie? I just finished another of her Miss Marple books: A Murder is Announced. I liked it a lot. Can’t wait to read a few more of her mysteries over Christmas. 🙂
    Lark recently posted…Some bookish gift ideas…

    • trish

      Really good Lark and I loved how it walked that line between being realistic but still lively and fun.
      No more Agatha Christie yet 🙁 I have been insanely busy lately and working seven days a week but over my Christmas holidays I plan on checking all my local second hand bookshops to see what I can find. I’ll add A Murder is Announced to my to-watch-out for list.

    • trish

      I know Tom and Gerry just makes me laugh too! They are a fun couple and add lots of the light-hearted moments and yes they are mocked everywhere for their names!

    • trish

      Ditto Michelle! I lost one of my best friends a few years to breast cancer so I usually avoid as it’s too hard. But I got this one by accident and it turned out to be a good mistake 🙂

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