RACHEL HAS JUST graduated from high school and thinks she knows everything. Well, maybe not quite everything. Then she meets the mysterious Mr. Preston, who offers her a live-in job looking after Grace—a brain injured woman with a lovely house, grasping sisters, feral neighbors, and a box full of unfinished business. As Rachel tries to cope with the demands of her employment and the start of college, she’s also determined to fit together the pieces that were Grace’s former life. The more she finds out about the woman in her care, the more Rachel finds herself.
Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards’ Shortlist for YA
From the Hardcover edition.
About Alyssa Brugman
“One of the things I enjoy most about writing fiction is . . . the opportunity to create your own universe with no rules in it except those that you decide.”—Alyssa Brugman
Alyssa Brugman was born in Rathmines, Lake Macquarie, Australia, and is an award-winning author in her native Australia.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I grew up as the middlest in a large brood of five girls and four boys. I was not the tallest, or the prettiest, the cleverest, or the best at sport. I wasn't even the best storyteller, but growing up in a house full of teenagers gave me lots of opportunities to observe the highlights, the lowest points, and even the middleness of adolescent life from many different points of view.
We moved around a lot while I was growing up, and everywhere we went, my brothers and sisters and I made lots of new friends, so I learned about their lives, and how their families coped with the various challenges that faced them.
I don't think I draw directly from any particular experiences that I had, or those of my siblings, or those armies of friends, girlfriends and boyfriends that marched through my adolescence, but it has made excellent cud to chew when I am piecing a story together.
Most of my main characters are girls, and that's probably because I've been one. I occasionally dabble in male voices, but I don't think I can do it convincingly enough to last for a whole novel. There are lots of writers out there who write about boys very well, and so I think I will leave it up to them for the time being.
I come up with a new story idea almost every day. I write it in my diary, and if it hangs around for a few days then I might start to write it down and try to explore the idea a little further. I'll keep working on it until it either becomes a full, proper story, or until it fizzles out. Even when the story doesn't work, it's valuable to learn something about what makes stories not work, and I can then avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
None of my stories has happened in the same way. With Walking Naked, I wrote all the crisis points, then linked them all together. With Finding Grace, I wrote the end first, then some of the middle, and then I went back and wrote the beginning.
One of the things I enjoy most about writing fiction is that when you sit down with a blank screen you have the opportunity to create your own universe with no rules in it except those that you decide. My universes tend to be pretty close to reality, but I admire fantasy, speculative fiction and sci-fi writers for the creativity and imagination that goes into the universes they create. Those tend to be the stories that I enjoy reading the most.