Writer, runner, widow, mom of four great kids and two mischievous dogs, Keri Lewis is an American author who has called Germany home for over a decade. She earned a Masters in English Literature from the University of Alaska Anchorage (2001), focusing her thesis on deceptive narration in film. She currently lives in Nürnberg and teaches writing for the University of Maryland Europe. With a passion for the narrative theory and a love for the unreliable narrator, she brings American culture to the European landscape in her debut novel, Saving Grace.
Saving Grace. Novel, 233 pages.
Wither her marriage crumbling under the weight of her husband David’s oppressive religious obsession, Grace Alexander questions not only her role as wife but also her sexuality. As she awakens to the idea of freedom, an increasingly delusional David uses religion, money and sex to regain control of his wife. Trapped by her maternal obligations and a religious system in which divorce is not an option, it seems the only way out is through death—and Grace isn’t sure which one of them it will be.
Grace Alexander´s life looks as perfect as the picture on her Christmas Card: four homeschooled children, a house in Germany, summers in Switzerland and a Christian husband of twenty years. As their time in Europe draws to a close, David’s benign Christianity spirals into obsession. Fueled by his study of End Times Prophecy, David implements legalistic biblical standards in the family. Grace is torn between her role as wife and her burgeoning desire to be free.
An avid runner, Grace secretly enters a mountain race in Switzerland and nearly falls to her death. As she slides towards the edge, she envisions a future that does not include her husband. Later at a party, Grace feels attracted to a local, the Man in the Orange Jacket. David, having access to her phone, discovers her participation in the race. He asserts his authority by forcing sex.
Back home in Germany, Grace opens her own bank account and takes online classes, but when marital rape recurs, Grace feels trapped by a system of theology in which the only way out is through death. Grace starts to count the seconds between David´s breaths at night, praying sleep apnea will take him.
When Grace participates in her gay brother’s wedding, David cancels her credit cards and Grace’s dog is found dead. Having lost control over his family, David becomes paranoid, believing the Russian mafia wants to assassinate him. When Grace challenges his delusions, David fears demons have taken over his family.
Fleeing to Switzerland with the kids, Grace discovers the love she’s been craving was not the man in Orange, but Lauren, the woman who owns the chalet. In Germany, David is committed to an institution and Grace returns to make final preparations for the move. The day before the movers arrive, Grace discovers David has checked himself out of the mental hospital, and she finds his corpse in the almost empty house.
Grace returns to Switzerland to find Lauren has gone. Calmly Grace walks to the icy lake, where she strips off her clothes and wades in. She realizes there is no white knight. No savior to rescue her. The savior is herself.
Keri Lewis: Saving Grace (Download Excerpt)
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