“Grist” is a really interesting historical fiction tale that will be perfect for those looking for strong and memorable characters and great historical detail. Penelope believes that she is going to be alone as a spinster schoolteacher until Ewan comes to town. Ewan fascinates Penelope and intrigues her. They fall quickly for each other and there is no question that Penelope will leave what she knows and go to live with Ewan. Things with him are not at all what they seem though.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and a big part of that was how much I enjoyed the characters. Penelope was such an interesting character to me and I really loved reading about her in this book. She felt really real to me. I liked that the author gave her a lot of uniqueness. She isn’t perfect but she is honest (at least with the reader). I liked reading about how she changes throughout the book. I also really liked that the story was told from her perspective, which really helped me to dive into the story. Ewan is also an interesting character. At first I thought that he was just a super pious man but it turns out that he is hiding a lot of secrets that make up some of the huge twists in the book.
There were a lot of twists and turns in this book, which I definitely liked. I love when a book can keep me on my toes. Both Penelope and Ewan are hiding a lot from each other and it was really great to see how their secrets unfolded in the book.
I also really liked the setting and the description of the setting. Penelope leads a relatively lonely life at the Mill but the setting really sounded pretty. This book definitely made for some good armchair traveling!
— A Bookish Affair