Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Book #49 - About Grace

by Anthony Doerr

David fell in love with Sandy at the supermarket in Alaska – as he dreamt he would. Moving from Alaska to Ohio to escape his fear of the future, they have a child: Grace. But a shadow of fear hangs over David. And when the floods come, he can’t face up to the future he has seen for his little girl and leaves both the people he loves.
Twenty-five years later, he finally finds the strength to discover his daughter’s fate…
“The things we see are only masks for the things we can’t see.”
I finished this several days ago and I’m still not sure what to say about it. It’s beautifully written in places, with some vivid images, yet in others my eyes started every so slightly to glaze at the detailed descriptions. It’s a very slow story, with little real action. It’s essentially about a long journey to overcome fear, yet it was oddly compelling.
According to The Washington Post, it probably would help if I was more familiar with some Greek legendary figures:
“Like Oedipus, Winkler is cursed with a terrible prophecy about himself that he does his utmost to avoid, and, like Odysseus, he must go on a long journey and endure many hardships before he can return home.”
Nature plays a big role and water was also a major symbol although I have to admit I didn’t come away with any real understanding of what was intended by it. I could also never really accept why the main character fled and stayed away for so long which made it hard to sympathise with his experiences. Yet, all that said, I can’t say that I regret reading it either. It was an interesting premise. And perhaps someone with a more critical reading sense would get a lot more out of it.

My Rating: 3.5/5
“What is time? Must time occur in sequence – beginning to middle to end – or is this only one way to perceive it? Maybe time can spill and freeze and retreat; maybe time is like water, endlessly cycling through its states.”


  1. What a good review! Honestly I'm curious despite the slow bits.

  2. Thanks Heather. A kind of mixed reaction but I really did like it, and it kept me reading even through the slow bits. I'd be happy to send it to you. I actually have 2 copies, and both were free! Drop me an email if you're interested.


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