Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Review: An Unexpected Grace by Kristin Von Kreisler

From bestselling author Kristin Von Kreisler comes a poignant, uplifting novel of one woman's journey to healing, and the surprising soul mate that helps guide her there. Lila Elliot knows she's lucky. A shooting rampage at her office left several colleagues dead and others seriously wounded. Lila's injuries will heal in time. Yet though she gratefully retreats to her best friend's house to recuperate, Lila can't quite move past her fear and anger. Being drafted into caring for Grace--a shaggy, formerly abused golden retriever--only adds to her stress. Lila has been terrified of dogs since childhood. But Grace, like Lila, needs time and space to recover.

Grace keeps her distance, sensing Lila's wariness, and only perks up for Adam, the neighbor who rescued her. Though struggling to make sense of her recent tragedy, Lila, an accomplished artist, begins to see beauty in Grace's wisps of fur and haunted eyes. As Adam points out, Grace, too, has suffered through no fault of her own. And in helping Grace to trust, Lila is being gently nudged toward the courage she needs to do the same.

Rich in warmth and humor, An Unexpected Grace is a story of compassion and connection, and of finding that what truly makes us whole again may be the love we give away.

Paperback, 272 pages
Expected publication: December 31st 2013 by Kensington      

Terri's Review

I received this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

**Disclaimer**  I read this book while curled up with my two and a half year old Golden Retreiver so my opinion may be biased**

Without going in to the storyline too much, this is a story about someone who survives a traumatic incident and must learn to move on in the aftermath.  Along with this is the story of a dog, Grace, who has also survived some horrific actions.  Together they assist each other in getting past their mutual horror's and learn to trust again.

Dog lovers would really enjoy this book.  I saw many similarities between Grace and my dog Maya.  From the way that she does things on her own time, the way she only wants to be loved, the way she greets at the door with a toy in her mouth and a cry and the way she must always be touching some part of me.  Von Kreisler must be an avid Golden Retriever/dog lover or she researched their mannerisms very well.  She could have easily been writing about my dog.

The bottom line is that this story reflect the unconditional love that a dog gives and their ability to provide comfort and healing to us regardless of what they have been through themselves.  Any dog lover will appreciate the journey of Grace and Lila.

I will caution that a dog lover may not rave about this story as much as I have.  The highlight of this novel for me was Grace and others may not enjoy the rest of the storyline.  Lila's inability to get past what happened to her at times seemed a little much however I have not experienced what she went through so I should not judge harshly.  Also the relationship between Lila and Adam was a little odd for me.  Adam took a little while to warm up to even though I knew what he was trying to accomplish with Grace and Lila.  Once he was more present in the storyline things picked up however at that point I feel their relationship went to fast.

At the end of the day if you are a dog lover with your own furry friend who owns you then you will appreciate this read.  It read like a love story to my dog.

About the Author

I could not find any information on Kristin Von Kreisler online.  I will update if I find any of her data.



  1. It seems like a great reading. I've read Marley & Me and I loved it. I don't have a dog, but I love animals (I have a cat) and I love reading books about the bond between humans and animals.

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