Searching for Grace

Fiction - Womens
244 Pages
Reviewed on 02/15/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jackie Jordan is an education writer who loves to travel and research her family’s genealogy. During a time of loss and grief, Jackie discovered the power of creative writing and has been writing ever since. Creative writing has given her language to construct new worlds through prose as well as forge new pathways for personal healing and growth.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Searching for Grace by Jackie Jordan is the story of a woman who struggles to find a place to belong. Neema Washington had no place to call her own, even though she tried hard. An accomplished woman with a fantastic career and equally stunning looks, Neema was the definition of beauty with brains. However, her personal life was nowhere near being perfect. She struggled to form a connection with her controlling mother, her father was loving yet unable to look beyond his past, and Neema’s love life was non-existent. Falling in love with Nigel was enough for her, but when he left her, Neema was never able to move on. Just when things started to look up in her personal life, Neema discovered family secrets that shook her to her core. Before she knew it, Neema was back to square one. Trying to salvage her life wasn’t enough. Neema needed to take control and let go of the past to move forward. Could Neema do it?

Empowering and entertaining, author Jackie Jordan weaved a realistic story that many women will relate to. It happens more often than we would like to admit. Women who accomplish more in their professional lives often lack in their personal lives. Perhaps the lack of a good personal life drives them to become the best professional version of themselves. Neema was the perfect example of a modern woman who has achieved a lot in her professional life, but her personal life was lacking. Jackie Jordan made Neema’s character convincing, relatable, and believable. The narrative was creative and written with a touch of suspense to keep readers wanting more. I loved the descriptions of Neema’s Howard days the most, but that was not the only thing great about Searching for Grace. The portrayal of a middle-class Black family, a woman of color making a place for herself in a professional capacity, and the troubles that the average Black woman faces were just some of the things that made this story magnificent for me. Loved everything about it!

Edith Wairimu

Jackie Jordan’s poignant women’s novel, Searching for Grace, follows the story of a determined young Black woman whose success is overshadowed by traumatic past experiences. Neema is determined to leave Nashville to attend Howard University, the college of her dreams. Against her parents’ wishes, she heads for Washington D.C. At Howard, she meets and falls in love with a Jamaican man. However, the relationship later breaks down. Neema is left wounded with scars that torment her for many years. She travels to Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer after graduating. Years later, Neema is forced to confront her father’s past mistakes and the strain in her relationship with her mother. As she struggles to make sense of her past and move forward from painful memories, Neema uncovers shocking secrets about her identity.

Through its compelling lead character, Searching for Grace skillfully navigates thought-provoking discussions regarding significant topics such as Pan-Africanism, slavery, sexism, racism, and the fight for racial equality. Though flawed in some ways, Neema is a strong woman and a powerful main character who is set on achieving her dreams, regardless of the issues that she faces which threaten to derail her. I also liked that there are many light-hearted moments that appear in the book. I loved the other characters including Neema’s intriguing college friends. I found their shared college experiences and the conversations the friends have to be relatable. Searching for Grace is a moving novel told through the intelligent perspective of its main character. It incorporates fascinating descriptions of the cultural and political settings in America and Ghana in the 1960s.

K.C. Finn

Searching For Grace is a work of fiction in the drama and women’s literature subgenres. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Jackie Jordan. The book follows Neema Washington, a successful and intelligent woman who is still trying to work out where she fits in. Her parents' obsession with parts of their past holds them back from being a source of support, and Neema’s life has been taking a nosedive ever since the love of her life left her 25 years earlier. Just as Neema starts to pull her life out of the nosedive she felt condemned to, the dark secrets of her family's past suddenly surface.

The conflict between different generations of Neema’s family and the way Neema is haunted by history could easily push this story into the epic genre, but Jackie Jordan approaches the story with a laser-like focus that keeps the drama on Neema as she struggles to stay afloat amidst the turmoil of both the past and the present. It’s a wise decision as Neema is a wonderful and relatable character and her place at the center of the story gives the novel a grounding that lends it an emotional weight it would otherwise miss out on. Searching For Grace is a heartfelt story that taps into anxieties a lot of people share about their past decisions and their search for meaning in their lives. Overall, I'd recommend Searching For Grace to all readers who are on their own search for personal truth, as within these pages may lie the inspiration you need to find it.

Jennifer Ibiam

What would you do if you discovered that your entire existence was a lie? In 1966, Neema Washington completed high school in Nashville, and the problems started. Neema’s parents wanted her to attend Fisk University, a Christian college, and their alma mater. However, to escape her overbearing mother, she opted for Howard University in Washington, DC. Neema met Nigel at the university, and they struck up a relationship that blossomed. It all came crashing down when he dumped her in a heartbeat! Neema grew up to become an academic and career success, but there was this emotional void she couldn’t fill. When it felt like things were finally coming together, Pandora's box of family secrets descended on her lap. Enjoy the full story in Searching for Grace by Jackie Jordan.

The captivating historical novel, Searching for Grace by Jackie Jordan, will appeal to lovers of Black history. This story was about Neema’s life, but the past begets the present and vice versa. I enjoyed Jackie taking me on a journey into the past, which held most of my interest. Every time, we rail on about White on Black racism. But have we ever talked about Black on Black oppression? Are we ready for this conversation? Alfred Robinson and his wife were everything wrong with the Black race, and others treat us the way we treat each other. I also felt that Lily turned out right, became difficult for good reasons, and was a better woman than Neema. Jackie is a talented storyteller who developed a brilliant plot, and I loved the simple writing, dialogue, and editing. Please, write more, Jackie Jordan.

Natalie Soine

Searching for Grace by Jackie Jordan is an enthralling novel about Neema Washington, an accomplished woman with a complicated life. Neema idolized her father, Rev. Joseph Washington who moved his family to Turner Mission AME church in Accra, Ghana where Neema was born. At the age of ten, Neema’s family moved to Nashville. Neema’s mother Lily Robinson Washington had a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and worked at Fisk University but Neema wanted to attend Howard University in Washington, DC and received a full scholarship. Neema was a tenacious woman, unafraid to exert her intelligence, and one day while studying she met Nigel Waite, a sophomore political science major from Kingston, Jamaica. After completing her studies, Neema signed up for the Peace Corps and was assigned to Accra. Neema’s family life became complicated when tragedy struck and she discovered her family’s dreadful secrets.

Author Jackie Jordan has created a heartfelt story depicting the life of Neema and her family as they deal with difficulties and challenges. Neema is raised in a loving, successful family environment and learns that it takes courage and willpower to fight for her rights and to fulfill her dreams. Searching for Grace is a story of a brave woman who has to heal her broken heart while trying to find meaning in her life after discovering the truth about her family. Jackie Jordan is a fantastic author who brings her characters to life. The scenes and locations in Accra and the United States are beautifully portrayed and come to life in the reader's mind. Searching for Grace is a delight to read and recommended to people of all ages.