Have you ever had a really bad day? Well, I can almost guarantee that Grace Adams is having a worse one, when Amazing Grace Adams begins. It’s 12:23pm on a sweltering North London day, and she has had enough. She abandons her car in traffic and proceeds on foot, hoping that she can turn everything around. That’s the start of Fran Littlewood’s debut novel (kindly sent to me for review by the wonderful team at Penguin Books Australia).

I must admit, what jumped out at me most about Amazing Grace Adams was the strange design choices. Firstly, the font – it’s huge. Like, so big, I checked the cover three times to see whether I’d been sent the Large Print edition by mistake. Secondly, the story is nowhere near as light-hearted as the colourful cover would have you believe.

New readers should be wary of diving into Amazing Grace Adams, especially if they’re expecting a comedy or an upbeat romp. Unfortunately, comprehensive trigger warnings would constitute spoilers – let me know in the comments if you’d like them anyway, and I’ll tell you there.

The story proceeds along three timelines: the present day, four(ish) months ago when the wheels started to come off, and 2002 when it all began. You only realise how shitty Grace Adams’s day really is when the reasons for it begin to unravel.

Amazing Grace Adams is a moving novel about determination and perseverance, even when nothing is going according to plan. It’s not a laugh a minute, but it is deeply felt and poignant.

Buy Amazing Grace Adams on Booktopia here. (affiliate link)