The Grace of Wild Things by Heather Fawcett

“It’s wonderful, though, to be impossible, isn’t it? Mrs. Spencer always said that magic is impossible. You know what I think about sometimes? How nobody sees the world the same way as anyone else. Some people look at a beautiful day and see it as a little bit more green than other people do. Some people see the way the sunlight moves along the ripples in a stream as if it’s dancing, while others just see the shadows along the bank and think about all the things that might be hiding in them. I think impossible is like that- it’s different for everybody. Maybe for Mrs. Spencer, magic is impossible, and always will be. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t real, or that other people can’t see it. And I’d rather be impossible to someone like Mrs. Spencer, wouldn’t you?”

The Grace of Wild Things by Heather Fawcett

I recently read and adored Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries (review still to come) and upon finishing it just knew that I had to dive into more books by Heather Fawcett. I’ve read the first in her YA duology, Even The Darkest Stars (which I absolutely adored). But when I found out her newest novel, The Grace of Wild Things was an Anne of Green Gables retelling, I basically short-circuited with joy. 

Anne of Green Gables has always meant a lot to me. I remember the day my Dad bought me the first six that were combined into two box sets. We got them in Disney World actually, so you can imagine that they were very overpriced. But I was always looking for books in every store I ever went, and my Dad has always supported my love of reading. I didn’t read them right away, and when I started I initially took them slowly. Reading them here and there. But then a few years ago, I faced an emotional moment in my life that destroyed me at the time. Not knowing how to pull myself out, I turned to Anne. I read the entire series, and Anne’s story gave me back some light. At this point, I was reading some of the books for the third time, but the last of the series for the first time. And this series is beautiful, magical and wonderful. Anne is a quintessential imaginative young girl who grows into an incredible young woman. Her story will always bring me the utmost comfort and happiness. 

And then I picked up The Grace of Wild Things. And I fell in love all over again. 

Heather Fawcett has done an absolutely incredible job retelling this story. She paid homage to the original Anne of Green Gables story while breathing something new into it. Something magical, poignant and touching. It’s been a week since I have finished this book, and I am still a slight emotional wreck when I think of how perfect this book is. 

Grace is a young girl with magic. She’s also an orphan whose parents were lost at sea. Running away from the orphanage, she travels to a nearby wood in which a witch who is not so kind to children lives. Grace is hoping to make herself the witch’s apprentice, but the witch doesn’t seem very interested. So Grace makes her an offer. If she can learn the 100 and a half spells in the witch’s spellbook, she has to accept her as her apprentice. If she can’t, she will give the witch her magic. 

What starts as sort of a forced relationship turns into something more as Grace’s bright and happy personality begins to chip away at the walls the witch had built around herself. 

The Grace of Wild Things is a stunning novel. You don’t need to have read Anne of Green Gables to enjoy this, but I definitely enjoyed it so much more because I have read them. I think L.M. Montgomery would have found this book to be just the type of book Anne herself would have adored and loved, and I think it will make a new generation of readers fall in love with the beauty and wonder that Grace and Anne embody. 

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