Two Russian cousins seek to heal the wounds that push the bones of their dead to the surface. An accomplished journalist uses scalding teabags to tame memory and guilt over her role in the fall of a Tiger Moth from fog. The victim of a brutal rape, abandoned to madness, finds solace in her spectral child. A nineteenth-century British officer is affliced with a demon and must grapple with complicity in a tiny village on the Rideau Canal where, generations later, numb parents struggle with the disappearance of their daughters.
Michelle Butler Hallett crafts a complex world in which the burden of history is borne under the skin of brutalizers and victims alike. With incisive, lyrical prose, and mordant wit, she compels us into intimate relationships with the dispossessed and the lost, those for whom the consequences of brutality are often unexpected, and never simple. The shadow side of grace is a penetrating exploration of power and frailty, evil and hope, and, ultimately, grace.