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About Grace
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Becky Norman | 788 comments Mod
Please add your comments regarding About Grace here.


Sher (sheranne) | 1084 comments Mod
Hello Everyone-- April will be our first Fiction with Nature themes months, and then we will do fiction again in December, so thanks for your votes in the poll about this. Next Jan 2019, we will reassess if we want to continue with two months of fiction each year.


Sher (sheranne) | 1084 comments Mod
Curious-- who all will join this discussion? I will be able to join you this month. I will listening to About Grace via Audible.


Becky Norman | 788 comments Mod
I'll be taking part - I love this book and wanted to read it again in late winter / early spring. I'm so curious to hear how this particular group feels about the writing - one of the only criticisms I've heard about it is that Doerr is too detailed in his descriptions of the natural world, but I have a feeling that's coming from people who aren't as interested in the details as most naturalists / scientists are. :)


message 5: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Hauswirth | 44 comments I hope to take part. LOVE the writer! Only exposure thus far All the Light We Can Not See but if that's any example....I am interested!


message 6: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Hauswirth | 44 comments PS to message above: I thought the audio for All the Light...was very well done.


Sher (sheranne) | 1084 comments Mod
Katherine- do you find it easier to be involved if you listen to the book versus read the book? For me, I am more likely to be able to participate if I listen. Though a few books I will read, if they are not available on audible, and I really want to read the book and maybe even notate as I go along.


Sher (sheranne) | 1084 comments Mod
Hi All-- I have already started the book - a few days early I know. I wanted to ask about the main character David Winkler. What would we call a person who has certain knowledge of something even before it happens? Where does this knowledge come from? Have you ever had anything even remotely like this happen to you?

Also, the book begins with Buddhist ideas of all one- really no separation between elements. Matter arises, and when it changes and what we would call dies, it transforms and goes back to nourish and be part of that which it sprung from. I thought it was interesting the way this book began.

And, I was thinking about Becky's comments. I believed all along as I read All the Light We Cannot See--that Doer is a prose poet. It was his poetic images that I remember and like best about that book. I find his descriptive powers extraordinary!


Sher (sheranne) | 1084 comments Mod
Hello everyone:
What do you think of our protagonist David Winkler? Do you have empathy for him? What do you think of the story versus the writing style?


message 10: by Sher (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sher (sheranne) | 1084 comments Mod
In what ways does nature play out as a character in this book? Is nature stronger than the story?

What does water and ice symbolize in this story?


Becky Norman | 788 comments Mod
My apologies, everyone - I have been on a "spring vacation" (hah!
snowstorms throughout!) for the past week and just got back today. I hope to jump in on the conversation by Sunday!


message 12: by Sher (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sher (sheranne) | 1084 comments Mod
Hi becky-- it sounds like to me you are in a David Winkler world. LOL


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm still in the first quarter of the book. My promise to myself has been to read this novel slowly. When I read books quickly, there is a missing out on the artistry.

It's kind of like life, in general. If we slow down, life has more richness. Colors are vibrant. Details are noticed.

Last night I was reading while the rain was intense here. Simultaneously, the story involved torrential rains and flooding. Since then, the scene has shifted in the novel.

Anthony Doerr's writing is a unique and sublime. Incredible that he wrote this book when he was younger than 30 years old.

Looking forward to hearing others' experiences of this book. Thank you ~


message 14: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam Kennedy | 79 comments I just started the book last night - I had forgotten that I had ordered it and it was buried in a pile on a nightstand shelf. I appreciate this reminder. I often read quickly - to fine out what happens, to get through a book. I will remember that I am reading this book for a different reason and savor it. I sometimes listen to books on audio and find it focuses me on the writing, the beauty. Although I am a voracious and eclectic reader who claims to prefer concrete books to electronics, I think about favorite books - West With the Night, The Outrun, The Hour of Land, The Garden of the Evening Mists, and realize how many of them kept me company on long drives....
It is a good intention - to slow down the act of reading, to pause during reading, to reread and chronicle the act. Thanks for this!


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

You are welcome, Pam. I'm glad to have others sharing in the reading of this book.
May we savor the beauty around us, one moment at a time ~


message 16: by Sher (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sher (sheranne) | 1084 comments Mod
Hello Shira:
Thanks for your reflections on About Grace. I san see savoring this book and taking 3 months to read; it is one of those books. It's really haunting-- scenes and language linger for hours, for days.

I'm glad you can join in Pam. I would love to know what questions this book brings up for you.


Becky Norman | 788 comments Mod
I've now had the opportunity to read the first few chapters of About Grace again (this is my 2nd time reading the novel) and was immediately struck at how pervasive the imagery of water is from the very start. From the dream of the flooding of David's house in Ohio to the sweat pouring out of him, to his glasses fogging up, Doerr is simply a craftsman at reinforcing his theme(s).

(And then he contrasts it nicely with the repeating imagery of dust when he meets Sandy.)

Sher asked earlier about David and if we had empathy for him. I don't want to go into too much detail yet (as I'm not sure where everyone is in the novel) but I will say that my heart simply breaks for him at times...and at others he's borderline creepy to me. I found the first time I read it, however, I was willing to overlook his transgressions because of the rather cursed life he's living. It will be interesting to see if my take on that changes with a second go-round.


message 18: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 17, 2018 11:56PM) (new)

"About Grace" is a rich and multi-dimensional read. The writing is true art.
Still allowing the depth and breadth of Doerr's work to move through this mind.

In one way you could say that this is a story about neuro-diversity. About what it is like to move through this world as one particular ultra-sensitive individual.

One could also say that this is a book about a scientist who is a loner and wants nothing more than to connect with those close to him.

The story gives the reader a whole other view of what is like to be the one who "left".

I suppose that each parent who abandons a child and/or a partner has their own version of "sleepwalking".

I found a lot of metaphor in this book.

The descriptions of water in all forms continue to awe me.

What kinds of impressions did others have? Thank you ~


message 19: by Carolin (new) - added it

Carolin (cassa) I have to say I find this book a slog. Am I the only one? Admittedly I am only at chapter 9, but so far I can’t find any sympathy for either of the main characters. To be honest I will find it hard to find any sympathy for David leaving his family behind.


message 20: by Tom (new)

Tom | 1 comments Loved "All the light we cannot see" loved all the characters, the setting, the history, the prose. Couldn't wait till the end of day to pick it up. Not so with "About Grace." Wanted to grab Winkler by his lapels and slap him and say "Snap out of it,", like Cher in Moonstruck. I must be dense, please someone tell me what the last paragraph meant.


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