Christina's Books: Beauty & Grace
Beauty & Grace is an intensely moving work of historical fiction telling the stories of Teagan Cormick and Grace Reid, women from different worlds and different eras, brought together within the haunting confines of Midland’s Wood Haven asylum.
Teagan leads readers through her early life in Queenstown, County Cork, through to her youthful immigration to America and her chilling, involuntary commitment to Wood Haven following The Crash of 1929.
Grace arrives at Wood Haven in 1978, hired as a consultant to deinstitutionalize the ten remaining patients trapped for decades within the asylum walls and to deal with Midland citizens determined to prevent “asylum people” from moving into their community.
Together, Teagan and Grace lead Wood Haven patients from the dark past into new lives, in the process telling stories and sharing memories that form a lasting imprint in reader’s hearts.
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Rave Reviews For Beauty & Grace
"Christina Abt's Beauty & Grace is a vividly rendered and expertly crafted historical novel that sweeps readers into a world of madness, mystery and romance. Fans of Maeve Binchy and Penny Vincenzi will enjoy this haunting tale that weaves between two unforgettable characters: Teagan "Beauty" Cormick, a kind-hearted 16-year old Irish immigrant wrongly committed to Wood Haven mental institution in 1929 and Grace Reid, a determined senior health care consultant who, five decades later, helps deinstitutionalize Wood Haven’s remaining seniors from the asylum to the outside world.
Together, Beauty and Grace unravel a nation’s dark past in this compassionately told and stirring story of redemption and renewal."---—Adrienne Sparks, Principal, Sparks Marketing and former Marketing Director at Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.
"I am an avid reader, and I absolutely loved Beauty & Grace. The research and development of characters is incredible and for the first time in my life I found myself moved to tears by a book. No question, Beauty & Grace is one of the best books I have ever read."---Paul Olczak, clinical psychologist (private practice and hospital), former Department Chair at The State University of New York at Geneseo, published author
“Beauty & Grace is a sensitive portrayal of a time that none of us can be proud of and of the indomitable spirit of those who survived. As a social worker I must say the outcome of this story for Grace and those institutionalized is every social worker's dream. Sad to say it doesn't always work out that way for a multitude of reasons. However, this work of fiction gives us hope that it could and demonstrates the healing power of love, whether from a mother, a sister, a friend or someone who has just come into your life." - Marion Schmidt, MSW, retired certified social worker
“Reading Beauty & Grace is a very atmospheric. Vivid enough to place me there. The asylum is actually a character as much as anyone else in the book, looming in the background as it appears on the front cover.”- Daniel J. Middleton, author and professional book designer
Audience Reviews of Christina’s presentations
"Thank you, Christina Abt for drawing attention to the thousands of American citizens who were institutionalized, some for their entire adult lives. These stories need to be told and you have a wonderful way of sharing them! —-David Mack-Hardiman, Director Museum disAbility History
“I was so taken with your presentation for our book club and guests at the Neuman Center. You have a wonderful easy honest, and sometimes whimsical style of sharing your stories. We all loved it!"---Kathie Mc
“Christina was our instructor for Carmel Creative Writers, Inc workshop on Novel Writing on Friday, September 14, 2019. Christina was very professional from my first contact. She supplied her bio and prepared a curriculum that met our needs. I was impressed with her friendly approach and genuine interest in each participant. This two-hour workshop addressed outline, creating a storyline and how to develop characters,etc. She also gave detailed answers to questions from our group. If you are thinking of a workshop instructor for your writing group, I highly recommend Christina Abt."---Rosaleen C.