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By EMMA HENDERSON
A severely disabled child discovers the beauty and pain which makes up a life in this stunning debut, based on the author’s own story…
Meet Grace Williams.
Grace is no ordinary girl.
Grace is the spastic of the Williams family.
In fact Grace has lived at Briar Mental Institute since the age of eleven, and she is in love with Daniel.
Debonair Daniel who brightens up her day with tales from far flung places, who can type with his toes… and who loves Grace back.
This is a spirit soaring debut from Emma Henderson: A novel about love against all the odds, set against the unlikely setting of a 1950s care home.
We discover the world through Grace’s eyes as she grows from a child into a woman, constantly striving to rise above the humiliations and indignities often heaped upon her by the very people employed to care. We share her triumphs, disasters and revelations but above all, we experience the discovery of her first love. At her story’s heart is the special relationship she shares with the charmingly flawed Daniel – a fellow patient. An epileptic who lost his arms in an accident, Daniel’s brash effervescence changes Grace’s world forever.
Grace is a tremendously bold and challenging voice, and through her astounding story we chart the real change in attitudes to mental health in the past few decades. Emma Henderson has based the character of Grace on her own sister, who was admitted into an institution as a child – a guilty secret that was harboured in her family throughout her childhood. She spent most of her life in care and was the inspiration for this novel.
Emma’s intention is to give a life and a voice to someone who barely had one – and to give the story of a conventional, though exceptional, love story.