Much like Anna Hope’s Wake, I found Linda Little’s Grist difficult to get into. Harshly emotional and more than a little sobering, I felt like I’d run a marathon by the time I finished the book and was, quite frankly, happy to done with it. I drafted my review soon after, but it languished in my pending folder for weeks before I returned to polish it.
Usually, this is where I reword the entry, format the coding for my blog post, add an image if applicable and check my grammar, but that didn’t happen with Grist. Somewhere along the line the themes had settled in and while I still feel it a challenging piece, I found I truly appreciated the ideas and motifs Little worked into the narrative.
Penelope is dealt a rough hand, but manages it with an atypical sort of strength. She’s different, but her subtleties are uniquely attractive. Her husband, when one really considers him, is equally complex despite his dark and ugly nature. Interesting if not admirable, he is as unconventional as his spouse. An antagonist one can despise, but almost understand in his insanity.
The shifting point of view, especially when focused on the supporting cast, was distracting and the pacing left much to be desired, but under that exists something truly special. An enduring message of perseverance, courage and hope in the face of overwhelming heartache and oppression that haunts the reader long after the final page.
— Flashlight Commentary