Salty air, low lying clouds, and crooning of seagulls near the towering Astoria Column and the flowing Columbia River set the scene for Humanity's Grace, a collection of linked short stories. Frank, Anne, Monica, and Sarah all reappear from the pages of Montgomery's novel, Beyond the Ripples. New characters: An elderly mother and her son, a police office and spouse, a childhood friend, a counselor, a bystander appear, are all uniquely connected to a murder in downtown Astoria, Oregon.
Frank's untimely death creates a spectrum of consequences for his loved ones, acquaintances, and strangers. The ensuing murder accusation throws a trio of characters into darkness, as they reassess earlier beliefs, past decisions and actions. Other characters are impacted in unique and unexpected ways. A police officer is haunted by his past. A young woman awakens from a vivid dream of a friend from before. A mother wonders what she did wrong. A son aches for others to be kind. A daughter questions her father's past, while her mother remembers parts of the man she had forgotten. A stranger ponders the significance of a message she's received.
The characters in Humanity's Grace intertwine as they laugh, scream, and cry, do good or create evil. Most of all, they meander through sorrow and sadness, joy and regret, as they remind the reader of the startling and collective beauty of life's connections.
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