The Grace of Crows
Cherokee McGhee, L.L.C. (2013)
Reviewed by Jennifer Hass for Reader Views (2/14)
“The Grace of Crows” by Tracy Shawn is a story about Saylor Crawmore and her struggle with anxiety. Saylor is married with two teenage children, and is creeping up on 50. She is constantly overwhelmed, worrying herself about everything to the point it is driving her crazy. Saylor watches as her children struggle with their own problems, trying to keep her anxiety a secret and under control. Her husband is emotionally absent and it stresses her out that he doesn’t take her feelings or the developing problems with the kids seriously.
Crippled by her narcissistic aging mother, Saylor always backs down from her mother and never expresses the way she feels. While her mother is an attention seeking woman, everything Saylor talks to her about is just another chance for Saylor to obsess. After a girl’s night out, she runs into an old family friend’s mother at a bar. Asking about her old friend Billy, she finds he ran away from home in his teens and was last known to be living under a pier. During Saylor’s search for Billy, she sets out to get to the bottom of her fears and become the person she has always wanted to be. Free.
Tracy Shawn’s novel has really ripped my heart out and mended the same. I found myself tearing up, feeling Saylor’s pain, the kind of pain that many won’t realize as being severe unless they have gone through it themselves. Mental illness is too often over looked. This novel is one fictional journey that sheds light on anxiety and fear. It also pulled on my heart strings and made me cry several times. Like listening to an old friend pour out their soul.
It is clear to me Tracy is very knowledgeable and with her masters in psychology, I can expect that there will be more novels touching on other mental illnesses in the future. I will be waiting, with my tissue box, to see what Tracy writes next.