About Grace

About Grace

A Novel

Book - 2015 | First Scribner trade paperback edition
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The first novel by Anthony Doerr, the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning author of Cloud Cuckoo Land, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning #1 New York Times bestseller All the Light We Cannot See , one of the most beautiful, wise, and compelling debuts of recent times.

David Winkler begins life in Anchorage, Alaska, a quiet boy drawn to the volatility of weather and obsessed with snow. Sometimes he sees things before they happen--a man carrying a hatbox will be hit by a bus; Winkler will fall in love with a woman in a supermarket. When David dreams that his infant daughter will drown in a flood as he tries to save her, he comes undone. He travels thousands of miles, fleeing family, home, and the future itself, to deny the dream.

On a Caribbean island, destitute, alone, and unsure if his child has survived or his wife can forgive him, David is sheltered by a couple with a daughter of their own. Ultimately it is she who will pull him back into the world, to search for the people he left behind.

Doerr's characters are full of grief and longing, but also replete with grace. His compassion for human frailty is extraordinarily moving. In luminous prose, he writes about the power and beauty of nature and about the tiny miracles that transform our lives. About Grace is heartbreaking, radiant, and astonishingly accomplished.
Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, 2015, 2004
Edition: First Scribner trade paperback edition
ISBN: 9781476789019
Branch Call Number: FIC Doer
Characteristics: 402 pages


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Jan 02, 2021

Beautiful writing, but what an awful book. I gave up halfway through, too annoyed to continue. I just kept wanting to shake the main character and tell him to snap out of his selfish, self-indulgent passivity. Yes, you can live your life by endlessly drifting, but what a waste! I loved "All The Light We Cannot See", so I know the author can write good books; this one just didn't do it for me.

Jun 09, 2019

I highly recommend this book. It's truly meant for the book medium, rather than, say, for movies, play or other medium. Author Doerr spends so much time inside the head of his main character, that there's no other effective way I can see to convey what the main character David is thinking and feeling. What he feels never stops. He's a very compassionate person and avoids defending himself when criticized or attacked by others. I could never live that way, but it's very touching to see how another person could do that. The story is very slow moving, but carries forward David's pain and needs through to the very moving ending. I'd like to come back and read this story again some time in the future. It encircles and highlights the book's title About Grace.

RogerDeBlanck Jul 27, 2018

About Grace chronicles the life of David Winkler, a man capable of dreaming events before they occur. His obsession that something awful will happen to his daughter causes him to abandon his family. His journey back may or may not prove redemptive. In comparison to Anthony Doerr’s other four books, the pacing and structure of this novel do not achieve great rhythm and flow. The narrative trudges along, and the language feels dense rather than fresh and alive. His other works are entirely absorbing, making you feel a mesmerizing sense of place and purpose, but in About Grace the chapters feel more like an assemblage of loose parts rather than offering a cohesive progression forward. About Grace does offer remarkable observations and intelligent musings, yet the story lumbers under the weight of words that do not always reach the poetic level like they do with such ease in his other books. With that said, this novel is still worth reading if you admire Doerr. I love his other four books and he is one of my favorite writers, but About Grace is just not as stimulating as his other works of fiction.

Jul 30, 2017

This is a book that will definitely try your patience. Had I not previously read "All the Light We Cannot See", and been totally sold on Anthony Doerr I might well have given up on this one after about 240 pages. Winkler the protagonist is delusional, neurotic, ineffectual, self-destructive. He drifts into an affair with a married woman, flees in panic when his family is threatened by a flood, buys a used car and travels all around the USA without bothering about a driver's license or insurance, comes perilously close to killing himself at least three times. His life is a dreary odyssey in which he displays neither the craftiness of Odysseus nor the courage of Telemachus. He's a klutz. So why do I give such a tale of woe 4 stars? I suppose because of the superb writing that somehow kept me from putting it down. And in the end, this is a story about redemption, about forgiveness, about being connected to those we love despite everything: lost years, broken promises, foolish mistakes. Having presented us with such a deeply flawed protagonist, Doerr makes up for it by giving us several superb secondary characters -- Naaliyah, Christopher, Felix are all wonderfully drawn and each in their own way are part of Winkler's salvation.

Feb 21, 2017

I really wanted to like this novel, not only for it's many accolades but because my daughter is reading " All The Light We Cannot See " and loves it. But this was a frustrating exercise for me and I finally put it down half way through. The author writes some beautiful sentences and descriptions , no doubt, and there were parts that I truly enjoyed . However, the main character was unfathomable to me ,that had nothing to do with his premonitions . The book even made the Caribbean appear a depressing place to be .

VaughanPLBo Nov 07, 2016

I love this novel from the first page to the last. The book may tell how imperfect we humans are with obsessions, hesitations, and sometimes due to clairvoyance. This book is all about love or the author wants to tell nothing but grace and forgiveness. The writing is microscopic and beautiful.

Sep 17, 2016

Wanted to find out what happens but the journey is painful and tedious for both the reader and the protagonist.

ontherideau Jul 05, 2016

I pushed through to the end.
In agreement with Publisher's Weekly
"frustratingly opaque protagonist. There are gorgeous moments here, but a stifling lack of story"
Can Doerr produce another "All the Light"? The bar may be too high now.

Nov 12, 2015

This is another beautifully written book by Doerr. He crafts his characters so clearly that you feel you know them and can understand what motivates them to do what they do. The story is full of interesting people even though you may not like all of them. Winkler`s obsession with snow and individual snowflakes borders on being boring (to the reader) at times but it shapes his character.

Sep 10, 2015

I love his writing style. Read his short stories Memory Wall...all

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