GRACE AFTER HENRY is women’s fiction and was not what I expected. The romance is between a partner and her beloved, who died in a tragic traffic accident while biking to meet her. From there we learn about their relationship through conversations she remembers. Grace is a mess, tries to distance herself from his parents, her job, and her best friend, but life gets in the way. She only returns to normal when she gets an unexpected visit from a plumber, Andy, who looks like Henry and who has his own secrets to reveal.
The story is set in Dublin, and there are some Irish terms I had to get used to. Grace has an older neighbor who is a one-woman neighborhood watch (or just nosy and a gossip.) There are a lot of scenes that take place in the local cemetery with the Three Wise Men characters who befriend her and help her in her grief. Andy is woven throughout the story as they get to know each other, and she starts to rely on him as if he were Henry.
GRACE AFTER HENRY has some plot twists. There are many secrets that affect Grace’s emotions as her life starts to get back to a new normal. All that Grace and even Henry knew about his childhood and his family are filled with surprises. The story has decent closure in addition to an unexpected ending. An enjoyable read all around.
Ms. Shortall is a new-to-me author. I hope to read more of her books.