Grace

  • by Natashia Deón
  • Narrated by Lisa Reneé Pitts
  • 13 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For a runaway slave in the 1840s South, life on the run can be just as dangerous as life under a sadistic master. That's what 15-year-old Naomi learns after she escapes the brutal confines of life on an Alabama plantation. Striking out on her own, she leaves behind her beloved Momma and sister, Hazel, and takes refuge in a Georgia brothel run by a freewheeling, gun-toting Jewish madam named Cynthia. There, amid a revolving door of gamblers, prostitutes, and drunks, Naomi falls into a star-crossed love affair with a smooth-talking white man named Jeremy who frequents the brothel's dice tables all too often.
The product of Naomi and Jeremy's union is Josey, whose white skin and blonde hair mark her as different from the other slave children on the plantation. Having been taken in as an infant by a free slave named Charles, Josey has never known her mother, who was murdered at her birth. Josey soon becomes caught in the tide of history when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaches the declining estate, and a day of supposed freedom quickly turns into a day of unfathomable violence that will define Josey - and her lost mother - for years to come.
Deftly weaving together the stories of Josey and Naomi - who narrates the entire novel, unable to leave her daughter alone in the land of the living - Grace is a sweeping, intergenerational saga featuring a group of outcast women during one of the most compelling eras in American history. It is a universal story of freedom, love, and motherhood told in a dazzling and original voice and set against a rich and transporting historical backdrop.

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What the Critics Say

"The conceit of a narrator speaking from the grave has been done before, but rarely has it been as emotionally wrenching as in Natashia Deón's mesmerizing debut novel.... [Narrator Lisa Renée] Pitts reveals lives filled with humiliation, dehumanization, and hopelessness. She presents Deón's characters and unrelenting images truthfully, exposing how little women, particularly African-American women, were valued in this time period." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent story of several women's journey

the story is really more than one woman's story; the narrator is the best I have ever heard, she draws you right in to each woman's life, an excellent fast paced read
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- Lillian Rodriguez

An intense reminder of historic tragedies and the love that sustains those who survive.

I was hesitant to read this book; I'd first heard the author on the Free Library of Philadelphia's podcast and I knew the story recounted pain, love, loss and perseverance. As an American seeing the deep divide currently between so many in our country I wanted to be reminded of historical events that brought us to where we're at today.

Once I began listening I was immediately attached to Naomi. Her story of survival beyond the world of the living and her journey to find safety for her child was chilling, but full of love and so much innocence. I miss Naomi and the characters that sustained her already. A truly wonderful read and reminder of American history, even if this is a work of fiction.
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- Kelly

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-14-2016
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.