I am not a huge lover of fantasy books. As a very logical person, they tend to be hard for me to get lost in. Often times, I find myself struggling with the fact that the events of fantasy books are clearly not possible instead of just allowing myself to get lost in these beautiful and creative made-up worlds that different fantasy books create. Naturally, I do have a few, and very far between, exceptions to this statement (i.e. Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia… but, come on! Those books are just classics! I don’t tend to classify them even as fantasy books.
Because I don’t tend to gravitate towards fantasy books, I am often reluctant to jump into a book that has even the slight resemblance of fantasy. But, The Grave of Lainey Grace, by Aaron Galvin, reminded me that there are wonderful “fantasy” books out there! Indeed, there are even amazing fantasy books out there for very a logical-thinker, like me.
In the story, The Grave of Lainey Grace, you meet a little girl named Briar Ann. Briar Ann spends most of her summer days helping her beloved grandpa, Bob, at the cemetery he manages. Grandpa Bob is the head’s groundskeeper, and he has spent most of his working days tending to the needs of the cemetery’s landscape. One question that always seems to deter Grandpa Bob, and all those who have visited the cemetery, is who is, or better what is, responsible for leaving the mounds of roses on the grave of Lainey Grace each and every year. Now that the owner of the cemetery is threatening to fire Grandpa Bob is the roses return yet again, Briar Ann is desperate to find out the truth behind the mystery of the roses and the bigger question on who exactly is Lainey Grace.
The Grave of Lainey Grace intrigued me from the beginning. It is totally a fantasy book, as it is also completely disguised as a realistic fiction book as well. This is especially true in the first half of the book when you meet and get to know the “human” characters first. By the time the “inhuman,” or mystical, characters entered into the book, I was already too hooked into the plot of the story to even think about ever stopping my reading.
The best part of The Grave of Lainey Grace was the magical character development that Aaron Galvin was able to achieve. I absolutely fell in love with the relationship and love between all the characters. But it was the special love between Briar Ann and her grandfather, Bob, that just melted my heart. I have a grandfather that I have lost that just resembled everything that grandpa Bob stood for in this story, so I felt like I got to have just a special time with him through the pages of this novel.