Book Review: About Grace by Anthony Doerr

Book Review: About Grace by Anthony Doerr


“I loved this wonderful book – its strangeness, its obsessiveness, its beautiful sentences.’ – Author Monica Ali

There’s nothing like winning a Pulitzer Prize to get the world to take notice of your novels and Anthony’s Doerr’s beautiful, Pulitzer Prize winning, All the Light We Cannot See, certainly did that for him.

If you’ve read All the Light We Cannot See and if, like so many others, you loved it, then there’s another treat in store as Doerr’s Australian publishers, HarperCollins, release a new edition of his earlier, 2004 novel, About Grace.

About Grace features vastly different subject matter but still has Doerr’s sensitivity, otherworldliness and it’s a book that utterly absorbs you into its world.

David Winkler is a man who has strange and vivid, prophetic dreams. Sometimes the dreams are harmless – he will see the overhead locker on an airplane come open and then it happens. Other times, it’s more sinister. As a solitary child growing up in Alaska he dreamed of a terrible accident and then it became a reality.

Doerr, AnthonyAs an adult with a family this memory becomes traumatic – what if he dreams something bad happens to his beloveds? Could it come true?

David is a hydrologist, a scientist rooted in the natural world, making his obsession with this otherness more compelling, Soon after he runs way with another man’s wife, from Alaska to Ohio, the fear of his dreams becomes all-consuming and he finds that the only way he can guarantee his loved ones are out of harm’s way, is to remove himself from them, despite the depths of his love for them.

In his bid to escape this nightmare, Winkler ends up in the far flung Caribbean island of St Vincente where he spends years, never quite making enough to get himself back to the US. It’s more than 20 years later that he steels himself to return, face his fears and find out what became of his family.

This a stunningly beautiful book about fate and enduring love.


The rise and rise of Anthony Doerr’s novel All The Light We Cannot See in the Sydney Morning Herald

About Grace: Dream Lover The New York Times

To purchase a copy or find out more on About Grace click here.

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      Publisher details

      About Grace
      Anthony Doerr
      03 February, 2006


      Growing up in Alaska, young David Winkler is crippled by his dreams. At nine, he dreams a man is decapitated by a passing truck on the path outside his family’s home. The next day, unable to prevent it, he witnesses an exact replay of his dream in real life. The premonitions keep coming, unstoppably. He sleepwalks during them, bringing catastrophe into his reach. Then, as unstoppable as a vision, he falls in love, at the supermarket (exactly as he already dreamed) with Sandy. They flee south, landing in Ohio, where their daughter Grace is born.And then the visions of Grace’s death begin for Winkler, as their waterside home is inundated. Plagued by the same horrific images of Grace drowning, when the floods come, he cannot face his destiny and flees.He beaches on a remote Caribbean island, where he works as a handyman, chipping away at his doubts and hopes, never knowing whether Grace survived the flood or met the doom he foretold. After two decades, he musters the strength to find out…


      A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever. For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth. In this magnificent, deeply moving novel, the stories of Marie-Laure and Werner illuminate the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
      Anthony Doerr
      About the author

      Anthony Doerr

      Anthony Doerr is the author of four books, The Shell Collector, About Grace, Four Seasons in Rome and Memory Wall. Doerr's short fiction has won three O. Henry Prizes and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. He has won the Rome Prize, and shared the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award with Jonathan Safran Foer. In 2007 Granta placed Doerr on its list of the "21 Best Young American novelists." Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

      Books by Anthony Doerr


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