John visits his ageing mother Mary in her nursing home by the sea, and mourns the slow fading of her mind. Hoping to shore up her memory, he prompts her with songs, photographs and questions about the 1940s, when she was a young woman and he a child in a small Cumbrian town. But he finds that most of all it is her own mother she longs for - Grace, the mother she barely knew. John sets out to recreate their buried family history, delving into the secrets and silences of Mary's fractured childhood as he imagines the life of her spirited mother. Reaching from the late 19th century to the present, this becomes a deeply moving, reflective elegy on three generations linked by a chain of love, loss, and courage.
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Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster. His novels include The Hired Man, for which he won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, Without a City Wall, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, The Soldier's Return, winner of the WHSmith Literary Award, A Son of War and Crossing the Lines, both of which were longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, A Place in England, which was longlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize, and most recently Grace and Mary. He has also written several works of non-fiction, including The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.Review:
'It's funny and sad and touching. With regular echoes of Thomas Hardy, this quiet, unshowy, book proves that novels can tell truths that are deeper and truer than the mere fact of memoir.' -- Alex Preston Observer 'The pleasures of this elegant novel are many. Bragg's detailed evocation of the Wigton of his youth, the people that lived there, the beauty of the Cumbrian scenery, the lively sense of the region's long and varied history, is delightful. It's a novel that deserves to be read slowly, the details cherished. The Hardy echo sounds throbbingly but Grace is not, like Hardy's Tess, reduced to being a plaything of "the President of the Immortals". It's a novel suffused with the idea and reality of the love between parent and child, beautifully realised without a trace of false sentiment.' -- Allan Massie The Scotsman A novel which beautifully conveys how the past is a continuum that constantly feeds our consciousness of the present, altering its current and direction. It is starkly truthful about the perils of ageing. But it is also a convincing testimony to familial love, and its power to prompt the imagination in the service of a more generous understanding...It is a gem. -- Salley Vickers Independent
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Book Description Charnwood, 2014. Book Condition: Very Good. Large type edition. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP79615943