Paul's Reviews > The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir

The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris
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M 50x66
's review
Feb 06, 2012

really liked it

A refreshingly candid story of an African American family in MN, their roots in America, and particular the father's experiences coming from Birmingham, AL. There are various contrasts interwoven throughout: north/south, black/white, diverse cultural values within both white and black communities. And the author tells her story with pacing and drama to keep it a story, and not simple a monologue. The reader feels like he knows what it is like to be Michelle Norris, to know her parents and their stories too.

As the title suggests, there is grace in silence--not the silence of cover-up or denial--but in a silence of being willing to let past hurts go, to recognize hurt on the part of all parties, to give the right to bitter recriminations. There is grace (redemption) in the silence of forgiveness, but the author also notes that there is power in knowledge and understanding. Therefore, it is important to hear the stories, gain a richer perspective, and be ready to forgive.
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