Logo for: North Carolina Writer's Network
Back to Book Buzz

The Summer of Grace

The Summer of Grace

By Karen JonesPublisher: Brother Mockingbird Publishing ISBN: 9798986330501Genre: Southern Fiction, Coming of Age Price: $18.99

Ten-year-old Gracie sits in the backyard hugging Brown Hound, tears dripping on the dog’s fur. the dog’s fur soaking up her tears. Her daddy is sending them to her grandmother for the summer. They are too much for her high-strung mother. It’s 1951 on the NC farm when Gracie and Brown Hound meet the family. Great Granny Jane smokes a pipe and is fast with her cane, Miss Emily is loving but firm, and Jane, her same age cousin has a swashbuckler’s heart.

It is wild and heady freedom, far from her mother’s scorn and her father’s indifference. The girls hunt through ancient cemeteries, sneak visits to the conjure woman, fight, make up, and sleep, tangled like puppies. 

But there is also Marcell, the solitary housekeeper. Her dark skin shines but not her eyes, her mysteriously entwines with the family and, she hates dogs. The girls must fix this before Brown Hound gets sent away. 

Are Marcel’s secrets tied to a past injustice? Can the girls overcome present-day prejudices to find out? What is the truth about that missing grave? And what timeworn promise, still steeped in segregation, will reveal the families’ hidden past?

Author, broadcast journalist and freelance writer Karen Jones is the author of The Summer of Grace, Up the Bestseller Lists! A Hands-On Guide to Successful Book Promotion, Death for Beginners, and The Highland Witch.  Jones has fifteen years of experience in television news as an on-air anchor and feature reporter where she wrote and produced the Associated Press Award winning series The Haunting of Virginia. She co-directed the Chesapeake Writer’s Conference, was an advisor of The Bay School of the Arts, and is a member of the National League of American Pen Women, and the Authors Guild. She has taught writing seminars at the University of Richmond, Christopher Newport University, LSU and CNU. She also held week-long intensive writing camps for adults on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. Jones lives beside the Atlantic Ocean with her amazingly tolerant husband. She can be reached at her website kjwriter.com


With the turn of every page, Jones had me running through the fields with Gracie and Brown Hound, feeling the damp air upon my face, the summer grasses across my shins, and the swell of courage in every step. Beautifully written and woven together, this multi-generational story follows the thread of one endearingly brave and clever girl as she learns that family is made from those that choose one another, in spite of a divisive past trying its best to not be left behind. What a sincere pleasure it was to spend time with these characters, brilliantly portrayed by such a skilled and talented writer.

Carine McCandless, Author of The Wild Truth, the New York Times best selling follow-up to Into the Wild.

Karen Jones gives us an authentic coming-of-age Southern story in The Summer of Grace. At once, funny, touching, tender, and infuriating through characters that you will remember long after you finish reading this terrific novel. And did I mention the twists? Yeah. There are twists. Highly recommend.

Kathleen Brehony, Ph.D. Awakening at Midlife