de Lint, Charles. The Mystery of Grace. Tor, 2009. ISBN 978-0765317568 272 pp. $
When Latina hot-rodder Grace intervenes in an attempted robbery in her neighborhood and is shot in the chest, she comes to in her bedroom, dead. It seems she and a number of other people who died in the neighborhood was “stuck” in a limbo of sorts, but can crossover to the world of living two nights a year. As she comes to terms with being deceased, Grace makes friends and is quick to take advantage of Samhain to slips back through, where, or course, she meets a soulmate. The conflict of this ill-fated long-distance relationship is played out against Grace trying to figure out the reason why Alverson Arms exists.
The premise is clever and De Lint sets up the boundaries of his world very neatly while his characters wrestles with love and identity and spirituality and existentialism. I didn’t think John and Grace had particularly unique voices.
The writing is solid, but not a wow. I appreciated all the cultural allusions–as a reader, it made me feel smart when I got them!) but there was a lot of repetition in terms of the author sharing information through his characters. Using carrots < > to indicate Spanish was an interesting device.