Author: Edward Vukovic
Genre: Adult Fiction / Contemporary
Ziva’s love of coffee is double-edged. Throughout her life, she gives her talent freely to those desperate for a glimpse into destiny’s promise. Predicting the future with chilling accuracy, she understands the cost and has sworn never to divine her own truth. Having fled the economic aftershocks of the Balkan war, she struggles adjusting to her new life and clings to the remnants of her past, until she meets Isaac. Against her better judgement, Ziva ‘reads’ for herself and what she sees will change her life irrevocably.
Told from the perspective of multiple characters, Grind follows the plight of Ziva, an ordinary immigrant with an extraordinary gift, and highlights the impact we have on each other through the interconnectedness of chance encounters.
Considering the fact that I do not like the taste at all, this book has really got me hanging out for a hot cup of coffee.
The writing style is richly detailed. Edward Vukovic writes descriptively to the point where you can smell the brewing coffee on the stove and your tastebuds are tingling with anticipation. Each sentence is well thought out and packed with sensory detail. Vukovic has a way of weaving words together to create realistic descriptions that make you view the world around you in a different way.
The characters lives all intersect. We start off with Ziva, an immigrant struggling to settle into life in Australia. Then we meet Isaac – an alcoholic who owns a bar, Simon – a struggling real estate agent, Michel – a mysterious homeless man, and Danielle – a schoolgirl with an interesting theory about traffic signals. At first it is unclear how they are connected, but bit-by-bit the characters begin to cross paths and unknowingly alter the course of each other’s lives. I love the way the links between the characters become apparent in the final chapters of the book.
It’s hard to place a genre on this book. I simply labelled it adult fiction / contemporary because it really falls into a lot of different categories – there are elements of romance, mystery, and the occult – there are different ideas in Grind that will appeal to different people.
For me there were a couple of things holding Grind back from a higher rating. I found the pacing a little slow and didn’t really find myself fully captivated until I was about 3/4’s of my way through the book. After that point things really picked up, though, and it was an exciting read towards the end.
There were also quite a few mistakes with punctuation that could be fixed with another edit. It was mostly just simple things, such as missing speech bubbles at the end of dialogue – not a big issue but enough to interrupt the flow and cause me to re-read paragraphs to check if the character was still speaking or not.
The female characters fell a little flat for me, personally, but I thought the male characters were very well-rounded and fleshed out. Their backstories were interesting and I liked learning more about their characters and what made them tick.
Overall, though, I think Grind was a really interesting read and a great portrayal of life in modern Melbourne and the way we are all connected.
I have a suspicion that we will be seeing more great writing from Vukovic in the future and I look forward to seeing where he takes his writing career next.
Thanks to the author for sending me a copy of Grind in exchange for an honest review!