When in Rome…
September 13, 2020
The well-written and fast paced story of a courageous soul, a thirty-something single woman from Manhattan. At a time when many woman her age are settling down, either with their career, family or both, she did what many only dream of: Jetting off to a foreign land—in this case Rome, Italy—on a wing and a prayer and with no return ticket home; seeking romance along with professional fulfillment while becoming immersed in the Roman way of life.
And perhaps “immersed” is too delicate a term. After all, the book recounts not only her untiring efforts to find work in the Italian movie industry in Rome, but also provides a vivid depiction of her dizzying series of romantic connections with one charming European after another. The sort of tales with the potential to make her the envy of so many red-blooded woman this side of Milan.
But if none of these relationships lasted then some may argue that on another level this book is all about a woman whose traumatic early life experiences set the stage for a lifetime of commitment avoidance. Perhaps her decision to drop everything for Italy was just a symptom of her past. Well, if life dealt her lemons early on, then, at least for a brief period in her thirties, she took those lemons to Italy and made some lemonade, or should we say Biscotti with a nice Chianti. Saluti
Authentic, affecting portrait of the actress life
May 24, 2020
A fast-paced, well-written, lay-it-bare memoir that balances alienation, loneliness, and loss with a sense of purpose, a tough-as-nails-actress core, and a certain game optimism. Really quite intimate and engaging, with the added benefit of offering an American ex-pat’s view on life and love in Italy.
May 30 , 2020
In this memoir, Alison Rand uproots her safe NYC life and moves to Italy, not speaking the language, or having a job. She looks for work acting, in commercials, dubbing movies, dates many, many non-committal but not totally useless men (help find her plumbers, doctors, job leads), moves many times to many apartments, where many things malfunction and she is often sick. Most people would have given up, but she keeps going on. Eventually, she moves back home and I won’t say what happens. It’s a candid, often humorous and moving account..
So honest and true
May 8 , 2020
This was a thoroughly engaging read. So authentic, Allison is easy to relate to and I’m always interested in family dynamics, dysfunction and the painfully honest love and companionship of a pet. Her travels and romance are whimsical and enjoyable. I particularly loved the unexpected ending. It’s what life’s all about! I could see it on the screen sort Under the Tuscan Sun(ish)
An inspiring read for challenging times
May 1 , 2020
A fresh perspective on an old topic: Life.
February 14, 2020
Cathartic tales of pain and pleasure; lean and authentic
January 5, 2020
Candid. Flowing. Direct. I felt her frustration. Alison has courageously written a story of struggle against forces of life not of her own making. I wanted to keep reading because I wanted her to win. I felt the pain of her youth. I wanted life to make it right, to balance the scales. It kept me going.
A beautiful woman. Italy. Intimacy. Handsome men. Movie sets. Acting. Sex. But what of it? On the surface, it sounded like a life of glamour. She revealed it to be a myth. To a guy, it sounded sexy. But to the woman living it… it wasn’t. How does that work for her? Will that help her find the key to unlock her anxieties and insecurities?
She didn’t lose me by writing about layers of mental gyrations looking for an unlocked door in her mind. No, the words and actions were real and lean and paced in a cadence that kept me guessing when the next cycle of pain and pleasure would turn. And when her words took me into another day of disappointment I wanted to reach out and hug her. For in her candor she made me care for her because she was authentic. The gift she gave me with this book is the feeling of compassion.
This book is a find!
December 3, 2019
Alison Rand has crafted a beautiful memoir about her time in Italy. It is about throwing caution to the wind, climbing out of one’s comfort zone, and exploring what life has to offer — the good and the bad. Told with honesty and wit, there are set backs and successes (such as life), but one is always carried away with the force of her prose. I look forward to reading the sequel.
A brave first novel–brava!
October 19, 2019
Raw, real and honest.
I loved this book
May 20, 2019
Alison Rand has written a brave, introspective book about themes intrinsic to many of us: family trauma, separation, the longing for connection , love and belonging, no matter where you are. While recounting the painful details of her childhood, she is open and giving to the reader and not self conscious about sharing her disappointment and pain. You’ll also get some great chuckles. The accounts of her Roman adventures and relationships with a number of men while she lived in Italy is not only poignant but had me laughing. I read Alison’s book when I myself needed comfort after a traumatic incident in my own life. Alison’s book felt like being with a good friend, understanding, warm and oh so human.
Enjoyed reading, very relatable.
May 15 , 2019
Enjoyed A Place Called Grace by Alison Rand. A moving portrait of life’s twists and turns. Alison writes with candor and sensitivity. Each of us can relate. Recommend you read it.
Finding true Grace: The Grace within.
March 26, 2019
“A Place Called Grace” is simultaneously illusive and yet within each person’s grasp. This duality captures the contrasting struggles of life in today’s world. Alison’s ability to observe herself and others is as finely honed as the sharpest knife in the draw. She is complex and courageous yet direct, honest, loving and available while trying to find her way in a world that lacks the integrity that is integral to her essence. Alison is not asking so much from life. She seeks and asks for something as simple as grace.
This lovely book got me though a stressful flight…
March 29, 2019
I was on a stressful flight to go down to Florida and I got so immersed in Alison Rand’s book that I was able to forget about my anxiety and stress for the whole flight! I really wanted to see what happened next to Alison. I found her story so touching and very relatable on so many levels. Plus it made me yearn to go to Italy! If you want a touching, easy to read memoir- then this book is for you. I loved it!!
December 13, 2018
I Loved This Book!
March 13, 2019
A feminine story that photographs a glimpse of authentic life, without constructions or hypocrisies.
It is the story of a young woman who decides to test herself and find her place in the world. And it does so without fear of analyzing and showing the reader the most intimate fears, the phobias that constantly prevent us from acting and realizing ourselves, the great hopes that secretly accompany all our choices. Like a window open on the soul! Everything is seasoned with brilliant flashes of comedy originating from the meeting of two very different cultures, from an acute observation of the human race. Without ever judging. And always keeping alive a feeling of hope, perseverance and trust.
Alison Rand has had the ability to make me feel understood, to alleviate the loneliness that is hidden within everyone, to give me the impression of having found a friend!
“…during this trip, she met an urbane, Italian man, and this relationship led her to move to Italy to start a new life. It’s in that country that the bulk of the memoir unfolds. There, Rand’s “existential loneliness” only temporarily relented when she expanded her circle of friends, landed acting gigs, or had the attention of a man. After three years, Rand returned home to New York City, at which point the story veers sharply from a fish-out-of-water journey to a brief exploration of grief and self-improvement. Rand writes in a matter-of-fact style throughout the memoir, which makes for a smooth read.”
Heartfelt and honest!
Jannury 25, 2019
Heart warming book to read !
January 26, 2019
A Must Read!
September 13, 2018
A Memoir That Decodes the Cost of Learning What Matters in Life
October 30, 2018
I Love This Memoir!
December 7, 2018
I absolutely recommend this book.
September 3, 2018
An absorbing and poignant page-turner
September 3, 2018
A Must Read
September 7, 2018
A wryly touching memoir…
January 5, 2019
Honest and Brave
October 1, 2018
November 5, 2018
A very personal “Plan B” that reveals strengths and possibility obstacle after obstacle
January 6, 2019
A touching and beautiful read.
September 2, 2018
September 21, 2018
Sincere and readable memoir
March 21, 2019
From the time she was a child, Alison experiences tragic loss and challenges that seem to toughen her up for what is to come. In this eminently readable memoir, Alison confronts her parent’s divorce, separation from her siblings, notably from her beloved brother, and an ill-fated marriage which ends in divorce. As a single actress from New York, in her early thirties, she decides to start a new life in Rome. Without a lot of confidence, a job, a place to live, or comfort in Italian, the adventure begins. She reveals ingenuity, a sense of humor, willingness to make many new friends and pure grit. The combination of delightful stories of obstacles and successes in Rome and her personal problems give this memoir its strength.
A Great Book
April 21, 2019
This book is a great read with a lot of insight to life in Italy and contains an important lesson about life.
Touching and honest
April 30 , 2019
Her story reminded me of some of my own experiences in travel and striving to find a place in this world. This is a great read, I appreciated her vulnerability and honesty.