“Desperate times call for Desperate measures” might be the mantra for Maizy Grace Stewart the main character in Tamara Leigh’s novel Faking Grace as she is most definitely desperate. Maizy is an investigative journalist whose lost her prominent job in Seattle and now has fallen to the depths of her journalistic career as she has a part time job with a Nashville newspaper writing lifestyle fluff pieces . A girl can’t pay the rent on a part time salary so here’s where the fun comes in- she finds another part time job that she is applying for where she would be working for Steeple Side Christian Resources- a Christian publication. Here’s the deal- they only hire committed Christians and well Maizy isn’t exactly what you would call committed. And so, to solve her problem, she “brushes up” on Christianity by buying a copy of “A Dumb Blonde’s guide to Christianity” to make sure she can fake it effectively in order to land the job. After purchasing a“Jesus is my co-pilot” bumper sticker, and toning down her regular look from edgy to modest, she feels ready to play the part of a “committed Christian”. There’s only one little glitch in her plan- Jack Prentiss- the managing editor who happens to see through Maizy’s little charade (although now she has dropped the Maizy and is going by Grace- a more Christiany name). Perhaps one of the tip offs for Jack was Grace “taping” her bumper sticker onto her car for easy removal later. Anyway, Jack, with his cool British accent and suave demeanor is on to her and she knows it. It doesn’t help that he keeps popping up wherever she is and of course the relationship begins.
And then the conflict- Maizy (Grace) is asked to write an expose on her time at Steepleside by her other employer to show the hypocrisy that takes place there. Maizy is excited, her big shot to return to investigative reporting. But as she gets to know the people at Steepleside and sees both their strengths and their weaknesses she’s not so sure about this whole investigation thing. Will she really be able to stay “Faking Grace” or will she need to extend some and receive some as well?
In reading Faking Grace there are many hysterical moments as Maizy is trying to fake her way through the Christian world- trying to learn the lingo, talk the talk, and even attend church. As she goes along and sees authentic people with authentic faith she is definitely drawn in to real faith in God and of course, it is life changing. A very poignant scene was when she was volunteering in a soup kitchen and helping to feed the people coming in and she was so touched by a woman who had nothing and yet could still thank God for his provision for her. That really affected Grace and will affect the reader as well. This was a great contemporary fiction novel with humor, poignancy, and imperfect people meeting their perfect God. Very enjoyable read!
I was given a free copy of Faking Grace by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.