Finding Grace

Charles Booker is thrilled to start married life in Two Harbors, Minnesota, with his ambitious ornithologist bride, Caroline—but he sabotages his own happiness when, blinded by his desire for a family, he tricks Caroline into a pregnancy she doesn’t want.

Caroline, bold and unapologetic, follows her own nature and holds Charles to his promise to parent their daughter without her help—an arrangement that allows her to travel the world and follow her birds, wherever they may take her. This uneasy truce results in near tragedy for their daughter, Grace, who comes of age in a household full of toxic resentment on the one side and suffocating love on the other, and increasingly struggles with her mental health as she grows older.

Told by all three of the characters involved and set against the backdrop of Lake Superior, Finding Grace is a piercing chronicle of the struggles and eventual insight gained by each over the years, starting with Charles and Caroline’s courtship and continuing into Grace’s early adulthood—and a poignant coming-of-age journey for both Grace and her parents.

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Praise for Finding Grace

Finding Grace is a novel that anyone who has raised a child can embrace, the chronicle of a parent’s search for what he’s afraid might be lost forever. It’s a gut-wrenching tale yet told with immense compassion and a true voice. Although it doles out its share of anguish, it is, in the end, a stunning portrait of courage. Maren Cooper offers readers a story for our time, with all its complexities and challenges, a journey that never waivers from the path toward hope and redemption.

William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author of This Tender Land

Finding Grace is a heartrending story of a father’s unconditional love for his daughter, the strength of that bond over time and distance, and the fortitude of a community to band together in difficult times. Maren Cooper skillfully leads her readers through a labyrinth of love, hope, commitment, and the complexity of relationships. This is an emotional must-read that will make you feel sad, happy, grateful, and hopeful.

Allen Eskens, Best-selling author of The Life We Bury

Finding Grace is a riveting dive into the heartache and terror that parents experience dealing with a child who lapses into mental illness during adolescence. It’s a keen portrayal of the ways in which childhood trauma shapes lives. An added attraction is Maren Cooper’s wonderfully evocative descriptions of Lake Superior in all its moods and seasons.

Ames Sheldon, Author of Eleanor’s Wars, Don’t Put the Boats Away, and Lemons in the Garden of Love

Finding Grace is utterly absorbing, heart-wrenching, and beautiful — a tribute to a father’s love and a daughter’s journey. Grace is lost and then found, with every twist in her story bringing new heartbreak and hope. The characters are fully-fledged and relatable; the emotions deep and true. I loved this book! Great for fans of Jodi Picoult and Emily Giffin.

Jane Hughes, Author of A Spy's Wife and The Long-Lost Jules

When you start to read Finding Grace, be prepared for a gripping and heart wrenching story about a daughter raised by a narcissistic mother and enabling father. Maren Cooper pulls together the psychological dynamics that hit the nail on the head, page by page, and reveals the intense trauma and effects of narcissistic parenting. I couldn’t stop turning those pages. Intense and brilliant!

Karyl McBride, PhD, psychotherapist and author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers and Will I Ever Be Free of You? How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist and Heal Your Family

Cold mothers and troubled children. A father’s desperate wish for vital and lasting connections. The peculiar, senseless decision-making of teens who are hurting. Second chances at love. The essence of community. These are the themes in Maren Cooper’s Finding Grace. Set on the shores of Minnesota’s Lake Superior country, the novel’s beautiful descriptions of the harsh beauty in the outside world perfectly frame the complex inner worlds of the central characters. This is a poignant story of enduring love’s victory over disappointment and trauma.

Barbara Stark-Nemon, Author of Even in Darkness and Hard Cider

Finding Grace will ring true for any parent who has shepherded a child through the perils of mental illness. Filled with flawed but genuine characters, Cooper’s tale delves into the complex mix of devotion, despair, fear, and hope inherent in unconditional love. A book that will linger in your heart long after you turn the final page.

Susan Ritz, Author of A Dream to Die For