Introducing Anoop Judge and Mercy and Grace

The story of Gia Kumari and how she finally leaves the Delhi orphanage where she was raised is almost miraculous. You won’t want to put this new novel, Mercy and Grace by Anoop Judge down. Also Anoop has  written a guest  post for us – about how beneficial writing is to help us work through our grief. I know that is very true. After my own son died, I wrote to heal and it helped me a lot.

Here’s Anoop:

Writing Your Way Through Grief

by Anoop Judge

Grief is a profound and complex emotion that can arise from various sources, such as the loss of a loved one, the end of a significant relationship, or even the loss of a cherished dream. It’s a universal experience, yet it’s deeply personal and can feel isolating. In my own journey through grief, I’ve found writing to be a powerful tool for healing and self-discovery.

The Power of Writing

Writing has long been recognized as a therapeutic activity. It allows us to express our emotions, thoughts, and experiences in a way that can be cathartic and healing. When we write through our grief, we give voice to our pain, making it more manageable and less overwhelming. It’s a way to process and understand our feelings, to find meaning in our loss, and to navigate the complex landscape of mourning.

My Personal Experience

In my own life, writing has been a constant companion through times of sorrow. After the loss of my Dad one year ago, I found myself grappling with a deep sense of loss and confusion. It was through writing that I began to untangle the web of emotions I was experiencing. I started by journaling, pouring out my thoughts and feelings onto the page without any filter. This act of raw expression was incredibly freeing and provided a much-needed outlet for my grief.

As I continued to write, I noticed a shift in my perspective. Writing allowed me to reflect on the memories and moments I shared with my Father, transforming my grief into a celebration of their life. It became a way to honor his memory and keep his spirit alive in my words.

Writing as a Tool for Healing

For those navigating the turbulent waters of grief, I encourage you to consider writing as a form of therapy. Here are some ways to incorporate writing into your healing journey:

  1. Journaling: Start a grief journal where you can express your thoughts and feelings freely. There’s no right or wrong way to do this—simply write what comes to mind.
  2. Letter Writing: Write a letter to the person you’ve lost, sharing what you wish you could say to them now. This can be a powerful way to maintain a connection and find closure.
  3. Poetry: Poetry can be a beautiful way to encapsulate your emotions. Try writing a poem that captures the essence of your grief or honors the memory of your loved one.
  4. Memoir: Consider writing a memoir or personal essay that explores your journey through grief. This can be a way to process your experiences and share your story with others.

Finding Your Path

Writing through grief is a deeply personal journey, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. It’s about finding what works for you and allowing yourself the space to heal at your own pace.

Even if you’re not struggling with grief, all of us have, in Flannery O’Connor’s words “survived childhood” and painful memories. Life gives us those. Even in the best of homes and schools, things happen that hurt us. We seem to remember the hurts or at least carry the effects of the hurts—more than we remember praise and success.

The bad thing is that even many years later when we no longer need that protection, the hidden memories block our writing. No matter how much the conscious mind wants to write, the old injury jumps up to protect us as soon as we have paper before us and pen in hand. Blocks are real, they are the tip of the iceberg. But with the right kind of warm attention, ice melts.

It helps to close your eyes and visualize where you are, when, who is there with you in the scene, the smells, textures, and sights of that moment. Write it without thinking of anything else. Stay present with it. Know this, when you begin to write about your grief, the journey will change you.


Book Summary

At twenty-one years old, Gia Kumari finally leaves the Delhi orphanage where she was raised. With few prospects for the future, she receives an unexpected invitation from a stranger named Sonia Shah, in San Francisco: an internship at Sonia’s weddings and event company. Jia and America. It’s love at first sight as she navigates an unfamiliar but irresistible new world of firsts.

It’s Gia’s first real job: her first meeting with her only known family, her uncle Mohammed Khan, and her first romance, with Sonia’s quirky yet charming stepson, Adi. But it might be too good to be true. Gia’s newfound happiness is unfolding in the shadow of a terrible family secret, the impact of which is still being felt in a place Gia now calls home. To save what matters most, Gia must come to terms with a tragic past she’s only beginning to understand—and a lifetime of lies she must learn to forgive.

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (September 19, 2023)

ISBN-10: 1662509219

ISBN-13: 978-1662509216


Print Length: 283 pages

Purchase a copy of Mercy and Grace on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.


About the Author

Born and raised in New Delhi, Anoop is the author of four novels, THE RUMMY CLUB which won the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award, THE AWAKENING OF MEENA RAWAT, an excerpt of which was nominated for the 2019 Pushcart Prize, NO ORDINARY THURSDAY, and MERCY and GRACE.

Her essays and short stories have appeared in Green Hills Literary Lantern, Rigorous Journal, Lumiere Review, DoubleBack Review, and the Ornament anthology, among others.

Anoop calls herself a “recovering litigator” —she worked in state and federal courts for many years before she replaced legal briefs with fictional tales. She holds an MFA from St. Mary’s College of California and was the recipient of the 2021 Advisory Board Award and the 2023 Alumni Scholarship.

She lives in Pleasanton, California, with her husband, and is the mother of two admirable young adults.

You can find her online at:





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