Something About Grace by Andy Blackman
Grace is not a complex character to understand, she comes from an era when life was simpler, and family values were stronger than they are in this day and age. Both Grace’s parents were killed in the early bombing of London, not having any siblings or close family to fall back on, rather than dwell on what had befallen her she decided to volunteer as a nurse, as she felt this was her way of coping and helping others. Grace found nursing her calling, people were always impressed with her cheerful and helpful attitude, always ready to give comfort to others, not many realised that her personal tragedy at the start of the War was what shaped the way she was. People always felt at ease by Grace, and she had a rare ability to bring a sense of order to the chaos that people had endured. Although throughout the War Grace had suffered many personal tragedies, she still had a resolute sense of purpose, so when her best friend abandons her child to Grace, she did not hesitate to raise the child as her own. As the child grew Grace imparted the same values to him that she held, and although not related by blood, there bond goes deeper, so when her son is accused of murder she knew in her heart that he was innocent but she had to look into his eyes for the answer. Once he had confirmed what she knew, she did hesitate to help him escape, not even with the knowledge that she was committing an offence in helping him to escape, did she falter in her actions. Grace knew that if he stayed he would not receive the fair hearing as most had already found him guilty, and she knew if her son was hanged for murder, it could be a tragedy that she could not endure. Grace knew that she was sending him away to a fate that was clouded in uncertainty, but she knew that alive he had a chance to become the man she knew he could be, and although it broke her heart to let him go she took comfort knowing that he had a chance at life, that would have been denied him if he had stayed, this comfort gave Grace the determination to endure and carry on with life.
I loved writing about Grace, her character was loosely based on my own Grandmother, who had a strong sense of family and morals, and she used to get annoyed at waste, and could not understand the attitude of the young, I guess in some way as we all grow older we all find it a struggle to understand the next generations attitude to life, she came from an era of being frugal and not of plenty, but she always had a smile and a pot of tea on the go.
I have been asked why I chose Tom to go to Russia. The reason I chose Russia was twofold, I did not want Tom to escape justice and go live a life of luxury on a desert island, in the sunshine, although he had evade capture and justice his life was still full of uncertainties, this bring me onto my second reason, as like me Tom was brought up at a time when the iron curtain was firmly shut, and the east was to us a dark unfriendly place void of fun and laughter and not a lot was known about it apart from the odd clips on TV or what you read in the papers, we all know today it is a totally different place than in was, but back then it seemed a foreboding place and escaping there would have been a trauma in itself, and Tom knew that the future was uncertain and going to Russia did not hold any bright possibilities.
About the author: After serving in the British Army for over twenty-five years in the Parachute Regiment, Andy Blackman today lives in Bedworth, Warwickshire and works within in the IT sector. In his spare time he can be found visiting his three daughters and grandchildren. His debut novel For the Love of Grace (published by Clink Street Publishing 27th September 2016 RRP £7.99 paperback, RRP £3.99 ebook) is available to buy online from retailers including amazon.co.uk and can be ordered from all good bookstores.