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Publisher's Summary

On the Day of the Dead, at the Solona Music Hall, Altagracia Quintero meets John Burns - just two weeks too late.

Grace, as her friends call her, has a Ford Motor Company tattoo running down her leg and grease worked deep into her hands. She works at Sanchez Motorworks customizing hot rods. Finding the line in a classic car is her calling. Now Grace has to find the line in her own life. Grace loves John, and John loves her, and that would be wonderful, except that John, like Grace, has unfinished business: He's haunted by the childhood death of his younger brother. He's never stopped feeling responsible. Before their relationship can find its resolution, the two of them will have to teach each other about life and love, about hot rods and Elvis Presley, and about why it's necessary to let some things go.

©2009 Charles de Lint (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

Charles de Lint, multiple winner of the Yalsa Best Book for Young Adult Award, "believes in the power of magic - or at least the magic of fiction - to open our eyes to a larger world." (Edmonton Journal)

"Charles de Lint is the modern master of urban fantasy. Folktale, myth, fairy tale, dreams, urban legend - all of it adds up to pure magic in de Lint's vivid, original world. No one does it better." (Alice Hoffman) 

"The story develops through comforting, warm compassion to reach the inevitable, mostly satisfying solution." (Publishers Weekly

What listeners say about The Mystery of Grace

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

interesting love story

I think I was expecting something more "adventure" like urban fantasy but what I got was a love story with an interesting twist. I think some people might find the story too quite, thus boring. I however found it interesting and likable. I liked Grace, the girl who never gives up and finds her courage and John, the boy/man who finally found what he was looking for life in Grace. When I finished listening to the book, it left me with hope and a smile.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

not shelf stable. it happens.

it was a good performance for the female protagonist and not so much the male one. liked the sensitivity in his voice but it would have been better for a mystical character not a love interest. it's not progressive enough in the language. I later realized it was written in 2009 but there was sexism, and Grace, a street smart character probably wouldn't call tattoos "tats" or a sex worker a 'prostitute" or a person with a substance use issue a "junkie". reason being, she's too compassionate. street smart people can be quite sensitive in their language rather than a middle ground persons reflections OF them. that's not how it seemed that CDL wanted to paint this character, he seems to want us to see her as tough but compassionate, so word choice would matter. however, 2009 was quite a different time, so there's that.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • W
  • 05-12-16

Interesting Premise

I didn't find this book as riveting as the Newford series. It was a slow starter, but it eventually caught my interest. Enjoyed the male narrator, but wish they had chosen a female narrator who could speak Spanish. The poor pronunciations were distracting.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good.

It seemed to be aimed for the YA market. His other books span the generations better. Good story, though; I always love his stories, love the characters and the plot line. It was good, but it didn't hold my interest like some of his other books.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting Listen

The book starts strong with believable characters and well read narrators. There is a good twist and the book stays faithful to the concept. Not an epic mystery by any means, but enjoyable and interesting- good for an ethics book club question.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The mystery of grace

Charles De Lint has done it again, i loved this book and was avidly listening the whole way through to the end.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Satisfying, lovely story

De Lint can always be counted on for a story that doesn’t sugarcoat life, but grants grace to the all-too-human characters he creates. This story is no exception. A lovely study of complexities of the afterlife. Well performed by the actors. It took me a little time to get into the story, but I was well rewarded for staying with it.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Still listening but...

Tai Sammons is terrible at sounding Hispanic. Seriously. Either use a Spanish accent on Spanish words (tortilla is tortiya but norteño is not norteno) or don't. But the back and forth switching, especially with such an overdone spanish accent, is very jarring.
There's something really bad about a Canadian writing for a Hispanic character. Maybe screwing up Día de Los Muertos is what finally did it for me. He used either French or just really messed up his vocabulary.
And, yes. I live in a Spanish speaking area. I am speaking from experience.

Wrapped it up and... Eh. It was okay. But definitely not his best work. The romance is scatter shot, the tone comes off as someone who really doesn't understand a culture (hot rods or Hispanic, take your pick) trying to explain it.

It wasn't bad, it just wasn't great. Tsi really needs to learn Spanish if she wants to keep reading roles like this.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story

DeLint always has interesting stories to read. This is a tidy contemplation on death, power and belief. Also trusting what comes next. Nicely done!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

Lovable characters and excellent storyline. Ending left so much for the imagination. I have so many questions remaining.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • colin
  • 01-21-13

highly recommended

I urge you to read this book and anything else by Charles de Lint who is a uniquely talented writer. Urban myth, legends, folklore, supernatural and pure magic combine with the contemporary landscape and the day to day world seamlessly, believably and sometimes disturbingly. we are awakened and alerted to the mystical as de Lint weaves his spell.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul D
  • 02-19-14

Original tale

Where does The Mystery of Grace rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Well on par. No criticism - an original and interesting tale well crafted.

What did you like best about this story?

The concept of the story and characterization

Which scene did you most enjoy?

No preference, I do prefer to see/listen to books as a whole.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Not my job. I just read them.

Any additional comments?

It is many years since I have read De Lint and I was not disappointed by this listen. Too often revisting an old favourite is disappointing, it is amazing how niaive and simple some old modern aurthors can apeear now. Not this one and I will keep a watch for further books by the aurthor. The characters were well constructed and it was easy to become involved in their lives no matter how strange.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Deborah
  • 08-08-11

Thought provoking and considered...

First things first - this is brilliantly read, especially by Tai Sammons, who, to be fair, reads the lion's share, but her accents, and her voicing of the various characters is great. Don't get me wrong, the male narrator does an ok job, but he's reading a lot of women, and doesn't do so well.
This starts with alternate chapters, which are quite long from a listening perspective, read by either Grace or John, ending with all Grace, and underneath the love story, underneath the mystery of Grace, and Conchita, and Henry, and all the others, lies a moral tale about coping with grief and loss, about learning who we are, about moving on, and on the importance of friends.
I spent the first third or so wondering how de Lint was going to resolve the love story, reckoning I had it sussed. I was wrong, oh so very wrong, and I spent the final third wondering how this could end, and again, thought I saw how things might go, and was again wrong!
This builds both a credible love affair, and a very credible friendship, despite the whole thing hinging on the fairly incredible premise that Grace is dead, and yet able to meet, engage with and fall for John - who falls equally hard for Grace.
I loved the ending, loved the resolution of some issues and the fact that other issues didn't need resolution by that stage...
Why not 5 stars? Well, there are some longish internal monologues that I found I wanted over - if I'd been reading I'd have skipped a few pages!