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Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace
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Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Readers who praised this story of coming of age -- and coming into grace -- will love this new book club edition!

More than a memoir, this book is a promise of hope for anyone who was abandoned as a child, to anyone who woke up hungry and went to bed hungrier every day, for every wife who has loved a husband who left bruises on her heart and on her body.

Somewhere between st
Paperback, New Book Club Edition, 414 pages
Published May 12th 2016 by Stellar Communications (first published January 28th 2015)
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Mary For me I have found, no grit, no pearl.

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Average rating 4.44  · 
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 ·  73 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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K.E. Garvey
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Running In Heels is not good because the reader will learn all the juicy tidbits they’ve come to expect from a celebrity autobiography. It’s not good because her story is unique or made national headlines and is in any way familiar to us. It’s good because (but for the grace of God) it could have been anyone’s story. It’s relateable. It’s emotional. It’s raw. And today, it’s something that happens far too often.

Mary takes us on a journey that begins with her early childhood and ends with present
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
This book is incredible in every sense of the word! I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is the memoir of a girl who, by the grace of God, lived to tell the story. The story is one of hope. A hope that clings to a God Who deals in the ordinary, and uses the ordinary for His glory.

Personally I enjoyed the Puerto Rican heritage, blended with NY and Miami. There were many pieces of the story with which I identified, partially because I grew up in the same era, albeit in different circumstances.
Joanne Friday
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: friends
Recommended to Joanne by: Mary A Perez
A variety of experiences led to a range of emotions while reading Running in Heels by Mary A. Perez. As I read Mary's story I felt the time and culture in which she grew up. I felt the neglect and the love that was the thread of her life. Memoirs and biographies are not the books I usually read but this book held my attention from the first page to the last. I will watch to see if any of these characters get a book of their own or will she move to fiction.
A.K. Klemm
This book was hard for me to read, mainly because – post motherhood – I have discovered that reading about terrible childhoods pulls at all the wrong heartstrings. Getting through the beginning and wanting to scoop little Mary away from all the mess, while simultaneously wanting to save her mother from herself, was stressful. The things I loved about The Glass Castle are the same things that, after having a daughter, held me back from finishing The Liar’s Club. Things I have the stomach to deal ...more
Cathy Vega-Gallardo
Running in Heels 👠.. what a book 📚!!..
I opened it and got stuck on it immediately and couldn’t put put it down until I finished. I cried, I laughed, and I really got to know Maryann on a different level. Her simple way of trusting God gave me a different perspective on who He is in her life. Truly genuine I’d say. I have the privilege and honor of knowing her personally from when she was 15, and I testify that the words throughout her book describes her to the “M”of her name instead of writing
Karen Alterisio nelson
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Raised by an addict and a somewhat absent mother, saved, at times, by her loving grandparents, this author's memoir is packed with sorrow, fear, hope, and most importantly, faith --faith in God and faith one's self. An engaging story that should be required reading for high school students, the writing is quite good. The author really puts you in her shoes, or, in this case, heels. The pace is quick so the book reads fast which isn't really a problem since this story is un-put-downable. ...more
H. Taylor
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted at

Running in Heels is a gut wrenching memoir from an extremely talented author.
Mary was dealt a seriously bad hand of misfortune after mistreatment after tragedy and still, in the end with a hell of a lot of learning, searching and growing up, she came out of horrible circumstances to create a better, healthier life for herself and those around her.

But lets backtrack for a minute and talk about the cover. That stunning, heartbreaking yet beautiful cover. It tells
A. S.
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I received this book through the Goodreads Giveaways program, though as usual that has no effect on my opinions or review.

I entered the giveaway for this book expecting something totally different. From the title, I thought it would be a fashion industry memoir in the vein of The Devil Wears Prada. When I received the book, the cover and description made me wonder if there was going to be a human trafficking story somewhere in there. In my opinion, the book could use better promotion
Story Circle Book Reviews
For those who grew up in a loving and stable environs, it is difficult to image what home life would be like if it were filled with drunkenness, shouting matches, and abuse. Yet the latter description captures only a portion of Perez's dysfunctional past. Written in three parts, Mary Perez's memoir delves into the spiritual healing of one woman who was once caught in the vicious cycle of codependency.

The first section centers on Perez's childhood and early teen years. At the tender age of three,
Aimee Ann
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace is a poignant, moving read that made me feel a lot of host of different emotions. This moving piece of non-fiction may be hard-hitting at times, but it is an essential read because it will make the reader aware, and shed light on a subject and happenings that not too many people think about. That is why already I have to implore you lovely readers to read this moving memoir; it is beautiful, heart-breaking and touching all at the same time, and you wi ...more
When I read a memoir, I look for two components: a well-told, engrossing story and a gutsy protagonist who battles adversity. Running in Heels has both. It follows the protagonist, Mary’s journey from child of an alcoholic mother to finding guidance in the care of her grandparents, to a return to her mother and trouble. At sixteen, she goes off with much older Donny, an alcoholic whose erratic and destructive behavior turns Mary into a co-dependent. She sticks with him, despite his alcoholic rag ...more
Yolanda Johnson-Bryant
Publication Date: January 28, 2015 Title: Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace– Mary A. Perez–– 351 Pages –Chart House Press – 978-1631250286– Paperback –4 Stars

Memoirs are a great way to get inside a person; to see how they tick, what experiences made them who they are today. I’m not a big memoir fan, but every now and then, I read one that captures my attention. Running in Heels was one of those books. Most who read this book will find some part of it relatable, especially if you came
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
Running in Heels is a compelling memoir that explore the life of author Mary Perez as she experiences tragedy, abuse, extreme loneliness, and ultimately forgiveness.

From the moment Mary's parents divorced, and she was sent to live with her mother, her life was set on a downward spiral. Her mother was more interested in drinking and men than in parenting and Mary often went without food and on a few occasions shelter. Her only reprieve was the time spent with her grandparents. A house full of lov
John Maberry
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Many memoirs, including my own, depict a great deal of suffering. Mary Perez does it as well. I suspect many people find memoirs good reading because in the end the author triumphs over all the hardships they faced. Not only did they survive but now they thrive. It's the journey that holds the interest. Mary does that by detailing derelict parenting of her mother, problems the mother and her boyfriends faced with alcohol and more. As often enough happens, Mary herself fell into the same problem ...more
Livin' la  Vida Latina
Reviewed by: Celia
Rating: 3.5 stars
By A Latina Book Club

Review: This is the true, inspirational story of a girl named Mary. Her story includes the battling elements of alcohol, abandonment, poverty, hunger, and domestic violence. “The term ‘upper class’ didn’t mean us. Neither did the term ‘middle class.’ We didn’t move up in the world, but we did move way down. Down into a hellhole.” (16)

From girlhood to womanhood, Mary narrates this cunning and deeply profound tale of strength and hardship.
Nancy Cupp
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Gut wrenching! Mary Pérez has written a book that I found difficult to put down. Each page is filled with yet another thing that would be the end of most of us, but she continues to persevere. This memoir shows what many children of alcoholic parents must endure while they figure out what is normal for most children.
The book is written in a style that just tells the story like it happened. There is no fluff or attempt to make it more interest
Anna Mcpherson
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some time ago, before this book was published, I always wondered what she was typing in her home-office computer all those hours. She never let me in...

I don't like reading, but I could not put this book down. Found myself upset towards the end, because I knew I was near the end of reading it.

First of all, it was an easy read. Secondly, I have a much more profound respect for my mother now. Learning more of the stories that were told to us kids (my siblings) in livelier detail. The hardships my
Linda Ingle
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently met this author when she was in my area selling her book. I am an avid reader, but usually always tend to lean towards the murder mysteries venue. However, I purchased this book and wow.....I could not put the book down & read it in 2 days. Heart wrenching yet also uplifting, the story of a young girl growing up in impoverished times, with the exclusion of any positive role model to influence her life. Her daily experiences were overwhelmingly filled with challenges, and always filled ...more
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I normally read fiction, this book kept my attention and kept me reading. Some people's life stories amaze me. I was born into a Christian home to loving parents; I dated one boy and then married him. My life hasn't been one struggle after another, but that's exactly what Mary's was.
As a little, uncared for girl, she watched her mother make one bad decision after another. While Mary vowed to not live the same, she too, made many bad choices. She did have one saving grace and that was her g
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this autographed copy in a giveaway. I don't even know where to begin. Mary's story kept me turning the pages and having to remind myself that this is a TRUE story!!!! My heart wrenched for her as a child struggling to grow up in a less than ideal environment and the envied her in her ability to forgive as an adult. She's made me want to improve on this in my life. What a wonderful and enlightening read. ...more
Cherrie McBurney
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This memoir reveals the story of Mary's painful childhood, her mother too emotionally unhealthy to properly care for her and her siblings, the loss of her beloved sister due to neglect, Mary's marriage to an abusive, older husband and ultimately the awakening in her heart of a Heavenly Father who loved her and had a purpose for her life. It's a story of sorrow, loss, forgiveness, and a life renewed by hope and faith. ...more
Kathleen Molloy
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This author had the ability to keep me reading from beginning to end in one day. I would rank her up there with Janet Evanovich, Mary Higgins Clark who also have that ability.She has a wonderful career ahead. I cannot wait for her next book.The struggles she had as a child seem to have made her a very strong and caring person.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: goodreads-win
I would like to thank Mary Perez for inviting me into her life via this Goodreads win....she told the difficult story of her life with humor and grace, always giving credit to God. She was able to forgive the people in her life who did her wrong. I admire her devotion to God and also that she never comes across as preachy in telling her story. Bravo Mary, I'm SO glad you found happiness!! ...more
Angie Dokos
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sad, but Encouraging

This story breaks my heart. I can’t imagine having to go through some of the things this family endured. It made me stop and take notice of how blessed I really am. I’m thankful Mary had her grandparents and others to help her know of God’s love. I hope her story inspires others to make changes and keep the faith needed to improve their lives.
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book will tear your heart out and then put it back in. The troubles that excessive alcohol use bring to a family can repeat for generations, a cautionary tale. But the grace of God can put families back together and introduce a peace that passes all understanding. A good well-written read.
Candice Wilkinson
I loved this book because as I read the it I felt like I was sitting on the couch talking to Mary. The book had a natural flow to it and I was done reading way to early in my opinion. I just wanted to know more about Mary. It was such an inspirational story!
Robert Prather
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An honest and authentic glimpse into the author's journey of transformation, Running in Heels was gripping from the very beginning. I had to constantly remind myself that I was reading a true story. Mary's story is one of discovery and forgiveness that gave me a new appreciation for my own family. ...more
Penelope Jank
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is an honest testimony of courage despite so many challenges. I am amazed at her memory of so many details in her life. You will be encouraged when you read it.
Robin Bookwalter
Running in Heels by Mary A. Perez is a gripping memoir of the author's life. Beginning with an extremely dysfunctional childhood, and then crashing into an abusive marriage her story of survival and personal growth is both incredible and inspiring. As much as I was entertained by Mary’s book I was also personally encouraged. Mary never preached or sought to teach a lesson but through the simple telling of her story, I was encouraged and inspired in three areas.
The first is that I have so much t
Tamera Lawrence
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Childhood is fleeting. And for those of us who grew up with caring parents, we were and are truly blessed. But there are those children who know only a cold touch, hunger and neglect. Such was the childhood of Mary Perez. The one ray of light into Mary’s life was her God-fearing grandparents. This loving couple guided Mary, often from afar, sometimes when by chance when she lived with them. Their precious letters were a Godsend at times and usually right when Mary needed guidance. Seeking love, ...more
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Born in the Bronx, raised in Miami, relocated to Houston – Mary is of Puerto Rican descent, a mother to four grown children, “Mimi” to a couple of gorgeous grandchildren, and happily married (the second time around) to a phenomenal man for twenty-five years.

Mary A. Pérez is the author of "Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace", her debut memoir of the turbulent and uncertain childhood she s

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