Waiting for Grace

Book Cover


20th Century (multiple decades),Future

Caroline E Zani

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Eli Cranston, disgraced L.A. attorney turned-psychotherapist, flees the city for Bar Harbor, ME where he develops a new healing modality for patients. A Holocaust survivor, a recovering alcoholic/handyman, two rescue ponies and 11 year old Hope unwittingly begin to heal him while he waits for Grace.



Short Summary

A phone conversation between L.A. attorney Eli Cranston and a mysterious doctor who has just been accused of raping an unconscious woman in his surgical suite ends abruptly when Eli realizes he's lying. Eli has moved to Maine and is healing others while avoiding his own wounds.

Eli has come full circle, his daughter Grace has been released from prison ( the reader thinks she has died ) and arrives in Maine, pregnant. He, Rebecca and teenage Hope are hosting a fall wedding for Eli's long ago patient who had envisioned this very scene a decade ago.


Los Angeles, CA and Bar Harbor, ME

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions,Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Eli Cranston

Age: 50

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring,Complex,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Educated,Masculine,Visionary,Romantic

Additional Character Details

Name: Dr. Otto Gunther

Age: 86

Gender: Male

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Complex,Decisive,Engaging,Gracious,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Modest,Religious,Selfless,Outspoken,Empathetic,Faithful

Additional Character Details

Name: Hope Barlow

Age: 11

Gender: Female

Role: emotional

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Desperate,Faithful,Gracious,Insecure,Underdog,Obedient,Selfless,Skillful,Funny

Additional Character Details

Name: Antigone

Age: 30's

Gender: Female

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Decisive,Desperate,Insecure,Sexy,Blunt,Outspoken,Romantic,Secretive

Development Pitch

High powered L.A. attorney Eli Cranston's fall from grace destroyed his career and family. Shattered by his daughter's role in the accidental death of a friend, the daughter of a doctor he refused to defend many years before, his only desire is to make the rest of his life one of service. Moving as far from L.A. as he can, he settles into a small cottage by the ocean in Bar Harbor, Maine. He tries to adopt a dog but comes home with Ink and Smudge, two rescue ponies to fill his days, the barn a place of humble lessons. Soon a mysterious note on the door appears with a child's scrawl offering help with the horses. Not until the ponies break loose one cold night does Eli understand the power of Hope, a shy, abused 11 year old girl seeking a place she can feel useful and loved. Eli is busy building his practice and hires Clem, a Downeast handyman who has the sense Eli needs more than his house remodeled. In nearby Camden, Eli seeks out a mentor in Dr. Otto Gunther, a Holocaust survivor and psychotherapist. Otto shares harrowing memories with Eli about surviving Ravensbrück but losing his family as a young boy though he wouldn't know this until the camp was liberated. He tells Eli, "You have to find Hope and hold on." Little do either of them know yet that Hope is Otto's missing great granddaughter. Eli tries to keep himself from emptying the last two boxes in his house - full of painful memories of wife Antigone and daughter Grace until years later she returns, pregnant.

About The Author

Caroline E. Zani is the author of two novels, Piper, Once & Again (Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing, 2016 ) and Waiting for Grace (Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing, 2020). Zani, a teacher and intuitive advisor, whose writing is enjoyed by those seeking meaning in the chaos of life's challenges, is working on her third novel in this series, Hope Rising which ties all three stories together. A lifelong equestrian, Zani includes the wisdom of horses and the humor of being humbled by them as well as carefully crafted landscapes and an accurate recounting of historical events. She enjoys having readers from all walks of life, both male and female respond positively to messages of hope amid tragedy.

Target Audiences

Age: 35-54,55+,18-34

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing

Year Published: 2020

Hard Copy Available







A lawyer, marked by traumas involving his family, moves from LA to Maine, searching for a new life, where he will forgive himself and find a new lifestyle.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: FAIR

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: GOOD

Premise: GOOD

Structure: GOOD

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

It is accurate.

Draw of Story

The book is well written and already presents the protagonist's important characteristics from the first pages. It is easier to follow Eli's journey this way.

Possible Drawbacks

The lack of chronology is an exciting feature in the book, but at times it makes us feel a little lost. If the film's idea is to take an "indie" path, where memories, reflections, and dreams are molded to the current action, the non-chronological order is an interesting path. If the focus is to follow Eli's journey in building the new man he is, in a more traditional drama, a slightly more chronological order might be more appealing.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The sensitivity of the narrative. The human search for a new beginning. Dealing with a traumatic past that leads you to the construction of a better human being. The story itself is quite simple, but internal conflicts are striking and make us immerse ourselves in the plot.

Fanbase Potential

It has the potential for a fanbase if the author's narrative sensitivity remains in the audiovisual work.

Awards Potential

The story has the potential for awards for being complex even though it is simple, for dealing with internal conflicts - which could be of any person- objectively and at the same time gently.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

A respected LA lawyer decides to abandon everything to help people in Maine. The resumption of life is not original in films, but dealing with one's own problems through therapeutic techniques applied to people close to the protagonist, sounds more original.

Lead Characters

The characters seem complex. Everyone has a backstory, be it more extensive or less developed, but everyone has some type of past that influences their current actions. It is a complex characters web trying to live life in the best possible way.

Uniqueness of Story

It is not a rare gem but a drama of poignant internal conflicts and attempts to do the right thing.

Possible Formats

Film: Indie, Streaming TV Series: Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

Analyst Recommendation



The writer is good. She is able to describe characters, places, feelings, and reflections in a clear but not obvious way. The central story seems complex because it involves psychiatry, advocacy, two opposite environments in the United States, a crime. However, if we look at the heart of the plot, it is quite simple. A man marked by traumas decides to start his life over. What is added to this plot is what makes the story itself more original, but the plot itself is simple but very engaging and relevant. The human search for a better life, for the construction of a higher self. The incessant quest to lessen the pain and move on. It is simple and significant, poetic. The characters are complex, with their own backgrounds, experiences, reactions, traumas, and fears. The non-linear structure enhances a narrative complexity as we understand the plot through non-subsequent events. This structure is well used here, although it leaves us a little confused at times. A psychiatrist as a consultant would be absolutely necessary for this project, mainly because therapeutic techniques are applied in some scenes, which could cause side effects for the story. Obviously, the text would need to be entirely adjusted and developed for the audiovisual media, but the source content is interesting enough to guarantee a good start.