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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 9 June 2005
Anthony Doerr's About Grace, is a difficult book to describe and to review. It is the story of David Winkler, an eccentric, Alaskan hydrologist who is gifted and cursed with premonitory dreams. The books shows us the impact of such a power and the life and choices that David is forced, and chooses, to take.
The book is divided into six sections, each telling the story of a period of time in David's life. The major theme of which is a series of dreams concerning the death of his daughter Grace, the choices he makes because of these premonitions and the consequences of those decisions. The dreams are that Grace will die in his arms in a flood, so when the flood waters begin to rise he escapes to the Caribbean, hoping to save her by breaking the vision but risking the fact that she may die in the flood anyway. After 25 years of living in the Caribbean he returns to America to search for his daughter, assuming, that is, she even survived.
Anthony Doerr is a talented writer, his descriptions are vivid, his character strange. There is no doubt that this is a beautiful book, however there is something somewhat disappointing about About Grace. Doerr's turn of phrase and descriptive style, although charming and awe inspiring in small doses, soon becomes distracting and draws the book out, making it overly long. Plot and characterisation are sacrificed for description of the vivid and the beautiful, which is no bad thing but leaves a book that the reader will either love or grow tired with rather rapidly.
Anthony Doerr obviously has a great talent for writing, his style suits the short story perfectly, however for a novel of this length I would prefer he show an equal talent for story telling, with more character development and emotion. That said this is a beautiful written book and even if it will leave some readers disappointed, it will leave others amazed. Despite being one of the disappointed, I look forward to the next book by Anthony Doerr and hope that he has learnt from some of the flaws of this one.
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Product Details

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
£6.87+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime