Beowulf for Cretins by Ann McMan

Image result for book cover beowulf for cretins

Title: Beowulf for Cretins: A Love Story
Author: Ann McMan
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, LGBTQI, Romance
Dates read: 30th November 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Bywater Books
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: I don’t doubt it.

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Is God in the machine – or out to lunch? It’s anybody’s guess.

English professor and aspiring novelist, Grace Warner spends her days teaching four sections of “Beowulf for Cretins” to uninterested students at one of New England’s “hidden ivy” colleges. Not long after she is dumped by her longtime girlfriend, Grace meets the engaging and mysterious Abbie on a cross-country flight. Sparks fly on and off the plane as the two strangers give in to one night of reckless passion with no strings attached, and no contact information exchanged.

Back home at St. Albans, the college rocks Grace’s world when it announces the appointment of a new president – the first woman in its fabled 165-year history. Cue Abbie – and cue Grace’s collision course with a neurotic dog named Grendel, a fractious rival for tenure, and a woman called Ochre in what very well be a final shot at happiness.


This story is sweet, fun and not one that I’m going to forget anytime soon. It’s a fairly easy read, but one that still completely sweeps you away. Makes you forget about reality. I spent a perfect afternoon reading about Grace, Abbie and their neurotic dog while my neurotic dogs were piled on top of me. There was just something completely innocent and sweet about this story… not what I would normally claim for a romance. Mostly they tend to be a lot more lustful.

Sadly, there aren’t many LGBTQI stories on my shelves. Yet, every time I’ve run across one, I’ve found that it is brilliant and unforgettable. Maybe because they’re not so common-place, and it is more difficult to have them published… whatever it may or may not be, it’s not a sub-genre that often finds its way to my shelves. And, in fact, I think this was the first LGBTQI romance that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It was kind of life changing to be honest. I’m going to now find every single Ann McMan book I can.

An obsession with books is obvious in the amount that I read… but I also love to write, and reading a story about someone who has that same literary obsession was really relatable. Everything about Grace is relatable and makes her impossible to not to love. Then, there’s Grendel. A dog that is damaged, neurotic and completely loveable. Although, I do find every dog I meet ridiculously loveable… whether in person or on print.

Abbie was also a loveable character. However, I found that I related to Grace’s awkward mannerisms and kind of lost feeling way more. The more put together woman is someone that I aspire to be… but I think I’ll forever be more like Grace… kind of bumbling through life in a somewhat confused way. But always stumbling into a happily ever after. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

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Image source: Goodreads


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