AUTHOR: Janice L. Dick
From the back cover:
How does a person return to everyday life after spending almost a year behind bars? Nineteen-year-old Solomon Wuppertal throws himself into the new job his sister offers him as barista at Happenstance Bistro & Books.
But not everyone is pleased to see him return to town. His father is disappointed in him, the local gossip columnist spreads rumors, and secrets from his past haunt him. Besides interacting with customers, Sol must cope with cranky Morris Craddock, who runs the lending library in the same building.
When books go missing from Morris’s library and Sol is implicated, he decides to solve the mystery of the book thefts and stop the rampant rumors. As obstacles mount and self-doubt plagues him, Sol struggles to believe the truth and trust those willing to help him.
Will his determination be enough for him to move ahead and create a productive life in Happenstance? Will he succeed against all the odds?
Gossip & Grace carries us back to the town of Happenstance, where quirky characters and strange occurrences are part of everyday life. Sol Wuppertal doesn’t fit in with his hard-working, business-minded family—especially his strict father. Sol’s stint in prison marked him as untrustworthy, but his sister Rachel sees the younger brother she has always loved.
I love dear Bear and his malapropisms, and grumpy Morris Craddock might turn out be a little bit lovable, himself.
As Sol fights his deep-rooted negative self-image, reinforced by the town gossip, unexpected gifts of grace plant seeds of hope in his soul.
This story reminds me of a smoothly flowing river, calm on the surface but with a strong, deep current. I love Gossip & Grace and give it five stars. Highly recommended, along with the first two Happenstance books. Can’t wait for the next one!