‘Sufficient Grace is one of those rare début novels whose narrative progresses through allusion rather than assertion ... I am reminded of Cormac McCarthy’s apocalyptic Blood Meridian (1985): its biblical lyricism and themes of violence, power, and sin.’
Australian Book Review
'The novel captures Ruth’s transformation from innocence to responsibility well and should appeal to those who like their fiction well-crafted but explosive.' FOUR STARS
Australian Bookseller and Publisher
‘There is no denying the substance and power of Espeseth’s writing, which draws so deeply on her own experience. How good it is that she is free to do so. How good, as well, that Australia can call her one of our own.’
‘ … a deftly descriptive, riveting debut …’
'Divine … exquisite … Sufficient Grace is a mighty achievement and is among the year's must-read literary novels.'
Conrad Walters, The Age
‘Espeseth is a gorgeous writer; this book is dense with finely etched imagery, much of it rooted in the natural world.’
‘Evocative and moving. It’s a gripping tale about faith, family and fundamentalism … A gritty rumination on the power of familial bonds and lost innocence.’
Set in a cloistered community of Scandinavian Pentecostals in the icy wilds of Wisconsin, this powerful, elemental novel presents a fully realised world of a family turned in upon itself. It captures the harsh beauty of the unforgiving natural world in prose that is charged with biblical cadences and authority. Attuned to the rhythms of the natural and liturgical cycles, the novel recounts an utterly convincing and heart-rending story of lost innocence and the quest for absolution.
Victorian Premier's Literary Award Judges 2009
'As disturbing as they are, there are stories that demand to be written. This is such a story, delivered by a writer of remarkable talent. Long after reading Sufficient Grace you will not forget it, and will be left with wanting more from Amy Espeseth.'
'A novel of heart-rending beauty. Seldom have grace and nature, spirit and flesh, spoken to each other so wonderfully.'
'Simply brilliant. Haunting, gritty and emotionally dark.'
'A burning first novel … Espeseth gives a virtuoso evocation of ice and blood in rural United States, with a powerful dramatic story of sibling loyalty in the midst of family strife.'
Ian Sansom, Marina Warner, and Ed Byrne — Warwick Prize for Writing judges, 2013