Guest Post: Namesakes in Novels by AlmostAmazingGrace

I was always the only Grace in my class at school. In my whole year group, throughout primary and secondary education. I was stupidly proud of that fact, and curse my parents for it a little nowadays because it's basically made me want to give my children the most obscure and magical names imaginable – that is, if I ever have any, to ensure they never end up seated next to a namesake in their classes. Ridiculous, right? That's me! I expect my little sis, Fleur, will have the same unfortunate name snobbery someday too...

Then, upon starting my second year of college, I was faced with her – my first ever fellow Grace! I won't lie, it was a thrilling experience. I wasn't peeved at all, as I had always assumed I would be. This Grace went by 'Grace G' in our English Lit class, while I was 'Grace L' (pronounced 'luh!'). She became a very good friend in my last year of college. We would have 'Grace moments', when we'd say the same thing at the same time, or get similar scores on our coursework. I could not think of a better first IRL namesake.

I now know a lot of people my age, who I've met through Twitter or at book events or university, called Grace. At some point they've all appeared in recent years, all of them no doubt each being 'the only Grace' growing up, as well. Hiya, Graces. We're here! We were a rare breed once.

I say 'were', because I can't help but notice that these days every other little girl is called Grace. Seriously. I know several women a little older than me who have had baby Graces, and in my years working in customer service every other day I'd hear a parent shout 'Grace! Gracie! Over here, sweetie!' to a wayfaring toddler picking up products, grabbing at biscuits and snotting on the shelves. It must be a trend. Looking it up, I see that Grace has been one of the most popular female baby names for the past couple of decades. Not in the 90s, though. That explains it!
I personally would love to see a little boy called Grace, I think he would be a right character. It could be short for 'Gracius' or 'Gracer'...

Y'know where else there are quite a few Graces emerging? In contemporary YA novels! No, for real. I am amazed at the amount of namesakes I'm discovering in each new read. Let's look at a few, and the fantastic novels they all feature in...

All About Mia, by Lisa Williamson.

Grace is the big sis, the 'perfect' high-achiever who is bound for Cambridge and habitually outshines her younger siblings, seemingly unintentionally, although middle child Mia suspects otherwise. But then Grace hits a stumbling block of sorts, and comes crashing back into Mia's life – with some heavy attachments...

The State of Grace, by Rachael Lucas.

The brilliant Rachael did a cracking job writing this YA novel about a girl – Grace – living with Asperger's and more or less content with her life and routine...until romance blooms within it.

The reviews of this book on Goodreads speak for themselves; this book is beautifully cleverly written and the representation of those with autism is excellent.

The Graces, by Laure Eve.

I've written about this brilliantly witchy novel before, and tweeted about it endlessly. Laure has even said (after some pestering) that the novel and its main characters were almost wholly inspired by me.

The Graces are a family with a sparkling yet sinister reputation. Everyone wants to be their friend, including River. She is soon swept along in their current – and madness ensues.

Entangled, by Cat Clarke.

I love Cat and her writing, I really do. I blogged not too long ago about her novels, but didn't mention 'Entangled', as I had yet to read it!

It's the story of 17 year-old Grace, who wakes one day to find herself in a strange new environment and she is forced to remember and write down everything – good and bad – that has happened to her recently. Why, though?

So, I've probably forgotten quite a few of course, but there is the indisputable evidence that we Graces are taking over the world – through YA fiction. I think of all the Graces listed above, the one I identify most with is Grace from 'All About Mia', as she was a big sister with a major weight of responsibility and a decent reputation that at times (very rightfully) upset her younger siblings. She also is thrown a curveball in her life, and she handles it quite brilliantly – I hope I'm right in saying I feel I've done the same a few times...maybe.

Happy readathon, everyone! I hope you come across some of these Graces in your reading adventures! 

BIO: Grace is an aspiring author, unstoppable blogger, obsessive reader, unlikely survivor. Drama & Creative Writing graduate. Ravenclaw. Often found with head in a book, coffee in hand. You can find her here.

No comments