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.
About the Author
Maren Cooper grew up in the Midwest and now resides in Minnesota. She currently serves as a volunteer for various non-profits after a long career as a health care leader. A life-long reader, once she discovered the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, she began taking classes and slowly unearthed the aspiring writer beneath. Her debut novel, A Better Next, is available now, and Finding Grace will be published July of 2022 by She Write Press.
She writes best on the North Shore of Lake Superior where she retreats frequently to hike, needlepoint and watch the deer devour her hostas.
Excerpt about reality of her mother (p 88)
Grace saw her father look down and didn’t dare follow
He bent down and lifted the corner of the rug, retrieving
the bird photos from beneath it.
“Hmmm . . . What have we here?” He looked at the photos.
“Sweetheart, you know your mom doesn’t want you messing
with her stuff, right?”
Grace looked down at her feet. For a long moment neither
of them spoke. Then she mustered the courage to ask, “Dad,
why doesn’t Mom let me look at her stuff? I’m not little anymore.
I just wanted to see the bird pictures from her trip. Why
can’t she share them with me?”
Her dad seemed to choose his words carefully. “Hey, baby.
Your mom just wants to make sure the pictures are carefully
preserved for her books and lectures, that’s all.” His voice was
warm but not convincing.
“Dad, will Mommy ever love me?”
“Gracie!” Her dad put his hands on her cheeks and bent
down to her eye level. “Your mom loves you. Of course she
“No, Dad. She doesn’t. You love me. She barely puts up
“Oh, Gracie.” Her dad hugged her tight. “Your mom has
a hard time showing her love.
Gracie had seen enough over her years to know her mom
loved her dad and showed it all the time with affection. She
even patted Abigail once in a while. But she barely touched
Grace. Grace wasn’t good enough for her mom.
Will I ever be?