A Review by Jessica Belmont, Writer, Book Blogger & Chronic Pain Warrior
A Place Called Grace is a memoir, which is not something I typically grab for, but thought it sounded worth a read. It was an interesting look at family trauma, separation, connection, love and belonging.
Alison Rand opens herself up to us and allows us to see the painful details of her past. But it isn’t all doom and gloom, with some funny accounts of adventures and relationships. I enjoyed the breakup of pain and disappointment with some lighthearted humor.
This memoir drew me in and kept me interested all the way through. Alison Rand’s story is beautiful and definitely one I recommend reading.
A Review by Hazel Butterfield.
Books about getting to know who you are
A sort of antithesis to #EatPrayLove – A Lonely Planet guide to Rome regarding Italian men, dating and getting by. Making mistakes, self-discovery and finding meaning to life that relates to the self. There had an interestingly bizarre likeness to Netflix’s Crazy Ex-girlfriend, where a major decision to uproot and start again elsewhere is loosely masked in chasing after a potential man. Then throw into the mix a semblance of Reese Witherspoon’s grieving journey in her film ‘Wild’.
This book is about finding yourself and overcoming personal challenges, braving a very different dating world and mastering the art of how to deal with Italian plumbers and electricians! See Hazel’s full blog about A Place Called Grace and other titles here.
Listen to Hazel’s podcast ‘Get Booked’ and her full audio review of A Place Called Grace. Hazel reviews multiple titles, so you can skip ahead in the timeline to minute 34:43 (the full program is 1:00:00 or one hour) to hear Hazel’s full review of A Place Called Grace.
A Place Called Grace featured at Dalton.
I am excited to announce that my book, A Place Called Grace will be featured, along with the other authors affiliated with Dalton for The Dalton Authors Night-celebrating Dalton’s centennial birthday.
How A Bold Move Leads New Yorker to ‘Find Grace’
(DGIwire) Once in a while a book comes along that compellingly decodes the cost of learning what matters in life. Alison Rand’s new memoir, A Place Called Grace, is such a book.
Friends and family told the author that her plan–moving to another country alone–was crazy. She was, however, undeterred. As she explains, “It was 1995 and I recently celebrated my 38th birthday when I moved to Italy.
I was frankly terrified, since I was moving to another country alone. But on a more meaningful level I was more afraid of the inertia and sadness in my life and acting career up to that point. The acting career I had envisioned for myself had not materialized. My marriage had ended in a difficult divorce, and the man I had been seeing for some time decided he did not want children (I did) so, despondently, I broke up with him.
Still, why I would want to move to Rome–or move to any other country where I knew no one and didn’t even speak the language. Why would I leave my perfectly good life here in NY? I believed a fresh start in a remarkable country like Italy–the food, the wine, the scenery, the MEN—would lift not only my spirits but perhaps give me the feeling I was lacking in NY: a sense of belonging.”
The author told herself she might just stay in Rome for three months. Her ideal scenario: get great parts as an actress, meet a hunky Italian, and have his baby. As she was learning the language, getting comfortable with her new surroundings, and waiting for her new talent agent to contact her for auditions, Alison her first ‘Italian hunk.” He was the first of several short-lived romances, all of which I have candidly detailed in A Place Called Grace.
Shutting down her life in New York and setting up the foundation of a possible new life in Italy was not anything like the “she got a man” ending in the book and movie Eat, Pray Love, or Diane Lane’s similar happy ending in Under the Tuscan Sun. After three years in Italy– moving six different times, dating more than seven different men, along with too few acting auditions, let alone actual gigs–and a terrifying accident to boot –she returned home. That’s when she found Grace. As Alison notes,”Bottom line, “non rimpiango niente,” I regret nothing. My return to this country was not in any way a defeat, as living abroad was a great experience and it led me to a new life.”
Her book is on Amazon in soft-cover and formatted for Kindle and all other electronic readers.
Read the article about A Place Called Grace on DGIwire here.
Press Release February 2019:
A Memoir That Decodes the Cost of Learning What Matters in Life
Available for Review and Author Interviews
A Place Called Grace, a memoir by Alison Rand.
194 Pages. Ingram Spark Publishing. July 9, 2018.
Once in a rare while a memoir comes along that is so searingly honest it pierces your subconscious like a laser, plunging itself deep into the defenses that allow you lie to yourself—and that let you sleepwalk through your life. A Place Called Grace by Alison Rand is such a book. From the first page it will have its way with you, and not loosen its grip till the very end. And even then—it will haunt you, and change you. Very different from “Eat, Pray Love.” You will see why. What Alison did to heal her life is real and doesn’t end with the “finding a man” solution. Her disappointments are palpable—and very relatable. Ultimately you will want to be her friend, to comfort her. Most of all, you will have entered into another person’s soul. That’s a lot to get from a memoir. Read it! Love it! Thank me!
Struggling New York actress Alison has an outwardly good life: toned body, plenty of dates, a comfortable daily regimen. Still, she feels stagnant, empty, and as blocked as the river view from her Upper West Side apartment. Now divorced and in her mid-thirties, she has never gotten past an early childhood trauma. Since then, nothing sticks. No one stays. She craves a sense of permanence, a place to call home.
To shake things up, Alison makes a bold, possibly foolhardy move—with no acting work waiting oversees, she nonetheless relocates to Rome, where she barely speaks the language, knows no one except the elusive Casanova she hopes to meet up with again. In a series of tragi-comic encounters, she tries to settle into an exotic culture, looks for amore in all the wrong places, and attempts to break into the acting world.
After a serious accident, Alison’s dreams of an exciting life in Italy come crashing down. Back in New York, the personal tragedies and career obstacles pile up until salvation arrives from a most unexpected source.
A Place Called Grace is by turns a humorous, bittersweet and very contemporary memoir of a hopeful single woman trying to find her mooring amid the noise and confusion and isolation of modern life—and shows how she—and her readers who relate—can find their safe solid centers after all.
For review copies, or to book Alison Rand for media interviews or speaking opportunities, please contact Judy Katz of Katz Creative, at 212-580-8833, firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Alison was born and raised in Manhattan where she currently lives. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She has been an advertising copywriter and an actress-mostly in commercials.
Alison is an avid dog person and plans for her Miniature Poodle Dea to become a therapy animal to comfort those in need. In her spare time, she continues to take Italian classes in hope of becoming more proficient. She is also an exercise enthusiast, especially hiking and skiing. This is her first book.