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Book Review – The Truth and Triumphs of Grace Atherton – Anstey Harris

The Truth and Triumphs of Grace Atherton – Anstey Harris

Genre: Domestic Fiction

Published: January 2019 by Simon & Schuster UK

Swathi’s Rating: 5/5

Verdict: Beautifully written, compassionate and uplifting musical story.


Today I am sharing one my favorite reads of this year. It’s a beautiful novel that appreciates life and its glory in a very unique way. I am giving it 5 full stars because I had a wonderful time reading it. I am even planning on re-reading it (which I have the habit of doing)! Plus, it’s a very very pretty looking book. I mean, look at the cover they’ve designed! I fell head over heels right there, and even more when I saw a sketch of a Violin with it’s parts labeled on the very first page of the book! Read along the plot, and I promise you’ll know why I love this book so much.



Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …

Author Bio:

Anstey Harris teaches creative writing for Canterbury Christ Church University and in the community with her own company, Writing Matters. She has been featured in various literary magazines and anthologies, been shortlisted for many prizes, and won the H G Wells Short Story Award. Anstey lives in Kent, UK and is the mother of the singer-songwriter Lucy Spraggan.

Swathi’s Review:

While I am generously giving the book 5 full stars, I also want to share why I am doing so, and what is so significant about the book. Here are a few point!


The Story is about Grace Atherton’s life, which is probably why it is narrated in her own POV. She is a very gently, yet independent woman. She is strong, yet weak for love. David is her weakness, who is married with 2 children. she also has other weaknesses which includes playing her Cello in public. She was once a prominent Cellist, and then something terrible happened to traumatise her. This left her to play only for herself and not even in front of David, her lover for 9 years.

Grace has a beautiful shop where she makes, repairs and restores various instruments including Violin, Viola and Cello. She is also enrolled in a competition for the best Cello, by the encouragement of David and Nadia, her shopsitter. She lives alone in her apartment waiting for David to come home to her leaving his wife and kids. But he openly refuses. Yet, she waits. Until that time…

She is on the way to build an utterly perfect instrument to display on the competition when something happens to ruin everything for her.


As the narration is from the perspective of Grace, the readers get a wider picture of the characters in her life. The narrative is honest and completely trustable, which just adds credits to the well-developed characters. You get to despice David for being brutal to Grace and have mixed feelings for Nadia, who proves herself to be a tough teenager. We obviously love the 80 year old dressed up gay violinist who is by far the sweetest person I’ve seen.


I have to admit the plot is predictable, but it is the brilliant writing that will keep the readers glued to the story. It’s a feel-good story, with an enjoyable storyline.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re looking to read a book that could make you feel better and put a smile on your lips, then this should be your pick for this winter. It’s a binge reading – it took me 48 hours to finish reading! I highly recommend this to lovers of music, romance and contemporary women’s fiction.

I must thank the publisher for the advanced copy and Anstey for sparing her time amidst the Christmas weeks and the release day approaching very fast. Tune in to read an exclusive Interview with Anstey where she discusses cool stuffs about her book and many more.

All opinions are honest and they’re solely mine.

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