Cover image for Grace : a fictional memoir
Grace : a fictional memoir
Ward, Robert (Robert Mason)
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Publication Information:
New York : Golden Books, 1998.
Physical Description:
viii, 228 pages ; 22 cm
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From a prize-winning novelist comes a fictional memoir based on the true story of a remarkable woman and a family legacy of secrets, friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness, set during the tumult of the civil rights movement.

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Publisher's Weekly Review

Novelist and TV producer Ward returns to the Baltimore of his childhood in this fictional memoir of his politically active paternal grandmother, Grace. In 1961, 15-year-old Bobby Ward's parents' marriage is disintegrating. Bobby moves in with Grace and his frequently absent seafaring grandfather, Cap. A devoted Roosevelt Democrat without formal education who quotes Shakespeare, Rousseau and Locke and admires Gandhi, Grace is an ardent community activist. But when the civil rights movement comes to her Methodist church in the form of nonviolent protest by blacks, Grace disappoints her grandson by not taking a stand. Bobby is bewildered by what he sees as her lack of bravery, and he also wonders about Grace's "weird spells," which his parents never explain. Though the narrative occasionally rambles, Ward, who won the PEN West Award for his novel Red Baker, fashions many quietly beautiful moments‘for instance, when Bobby finds Grace meditating in a sari on the roof of her garage. As Bobby learns about "the thin line between passion and insanity," the leisurely disclosure of the secrets in Grace's mysterious past culminate in a moving revelation that's well worth the reader's patience through some awkward dialogue. Family photos add intimacy to the text. (Mar.) FYI: CBS-TV is planning a movie of Grace, starring Carol Burnett, for 1998. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved