3 out of 4 stars
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Locators, Shimmeras, Faceters, Seers, Knowers and Illusionists can all be found at Gracestone. The opulent Miami waterfront estate is home to the Grace family and their guests in Graced 1943 by Courtney Milford. The Graces aren't your average filthy rich family. They have skeletons in their closets and they cheat on their spouses, but they have something other wealthy families don't have. They have gifts (Graces) that allow them to locate people by their heartbeats, to shape-shift, to see all sides of any issue, to know all things, and to make people see things that are not there.
It's 1943 and the US is deep into World War II. Because of their gifts, Graced people move carefully through the outside world and guard their abilities from others who would use them as means to nefarious ends. They often must fend off the schemes of national governments, the mob and regular citizens who know of their powers.
The story begins with Annelisa Grace Betterman, a Locator, looking for her infant son who has been kidnapped from the hospital shortly after being delivered. Her sister Eleanor, a Securer and Multiplier, awaits her and the boy at a safehouse in St. Augustine, but is surprised to see her arrive with a strange caretaker. Meanwhile Annelisa's husband Humboldt, a Knower, is working with Oppenheimer's Manhattan Project in Los Alamos developing the first atomic bomb. From there the novel takes the reader on a journey filled with espionage, rescue missions, family drama and time travel. The historical fiction tale takes readers to locales in the Caribbean, Europe and North and South America.
Aside from the general WWII backdrop, historical elements in the novel include the family's relationships with Franklin Roosevelt and Albert Einstein, the siege of Leningrad, and the historical backgrounds of Miami and New Orleans.
Graced 1943 is reminiscent of the popular Twilight series wit the Graces being an immeasurably wealthy family with nearly unlimited resources and few vulnerabilities. Although the Graces are not immortal, their extensive family roots reach far back in time and spread across the world.
I like this novel. Other readers who also enjoy the mix of fantasy woven together with history will like this book. It is fun to read what WWII may have been like if a Grace family actually existed. Readers who prefer stories with a small number of well-developed characters may not enjoy Graced 1943. Ms. Milford creates an abundant cast of characters in this novel. At times it is difficult to recall how any given person relates to the others.
The book needs editing; at times the grammatical errors were distracting. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.
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