Days Of Grace

Catherine Hall

Published: 28 January 2010
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 304 pages
ISBN: 9781846271847


My memories of Grace never added up to how she really was. She was always impossible to pin down, dancing just out of my reach, exactly as she did when she was alive.

Nora was a girl of twelve when the war broke out and she was forced to join the train-loads of evacuees leaving London's East End for rural Kent. Her surrogate family, the Rivers, are unlike anyone she has met before and she soon comes to love her new life with them, and in particular with twelve-year-old Grace. Over the next few years, as the dogfights rage ever more fiercely over head and it becomes clear that the Rivers marriage contains deep and irreparable cracks, Nora and Grace grow as close as sisters - though, to Nora's confusion, even this is not quite as close as she would like ...What happened next is a secret that will gnaw away at Nora for the rest of her life - a secret that she can only begin to tell when she is certain that she is approaching the end.

About the author

Image of Catherine Hall

Catherine Hall was born in the Lake District in 1973. She worked in documentary film production before becoming a freelance writer and editor for a range of charities specialising in human rights and development. Her first novel was Days of Grace (Portobello, 2008). More about the author


‘[A] very enjoyable book - Sarah Waters meets Daphne du Maurier. Does everything a good debut should: moves you, surprises you and restores your faith in the power of a novel to transport you to another world ... Hall writes beautifully about the exquisite pains of unrequited love’



‘A terrific read. The narrative is cunningly constructed, the style is pacey and painterly ... she is staking out her own territory, and it's a lush landscape’

‘Ghosts both contemporary (Sarah Waters) and classic (Daphne du Maurier) hover around this striking and, finally, chilling novel of wartime passion and repression ... her writing has a terse and fierce precision that tightens into tragic fury’ Boyd Tonkin

‘Hall's prose is as unfussy as her protagonist is complicated and filled with the meticulous detail of the smells, the slang and the habits of the time’

‘Hall's writing has a darkly ominous pull, broken only by the story's startling revelations, which shook like shards of glass. A sparkling gem’

‘Magically well written, the book is touching, passionate and clever’

‘Marvelous... I was completely spellbound... I am urging you to give this book a whirl’ Simon Savidge

‘The strength of the novel is the war-time coming-of-age narrative, vividly recreating the guilty anxieties and heartbreaking jealousies that plague adolescent young women’ Kristin Ewins

‘There's jealousy, intrigue and a dreadful secret ... there's also the delight of the contrasting locations of rural Kent and war-torn London in the 1940s. It's splendid stuff’

‘This heartfelt story is ... gloriously gripping’

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