My First (but not last) Memoir
A Place Called Grace shares the story of a very brave and passionate young woman who moves to Italy to find love and herself. How many of us would move to a foreign country with no job, not knowing anyone and not speaking the language? Take this journey with Alison. At times you may laugh and you may even shed a tear. You won’t be disappointed.
In this memoir, Alison embarks on a journey of self-discovery with unexpected turns. This is very honest, raw and challenging journey of Alison; true picture of challenges one faces in life. Beautifully written and very relatable to many. Expect to hold your breath and root for Alison at times. It was perfect weekend read and I enjoyed every page. Hopefully I will have a chance to read more books by Alison Rand.
When in Rome…
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
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.
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
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
A fresh perspective on an old topic: Life.
Cathartic tales of pain and pleasure; lean and authentic
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!
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!
Raw, real and honest.
I loved this book
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.
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.
“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…
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!!
I Loved This Book!
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!
I loved this book. Alison Rand’s story is about the connections that we all seek in our lives. No matter what road your life has taken you on (and Alison’s journey is amazing), we all seek to love and be loved. She overcomes much to find her place called Grace. We can all relate to this book because aren’t we all looking for our own place called Grace?
Heart warming book to read !
I thoroughly enjoyed A Place Called Grace. It was both heart wrenching and heart warming at the same time. I loved Alison’s honesty and style of writing. I was able to relate to many of her experiences. I highly recommend this book It is an easy quick read and definitely very well worth it.
A Must Read!
A Memoir That Decodes the Cost of Learning What Matters in Life
I Love This Memoir!
I absolutely recommend this book.
An absorbing and poignant page-turner
A Must Read
A wryly touching memoir…
Honest and Brave
A very personal “Plan B” that reveals strengths and possibility obstacle after obstacle
A touching and beautiful read.
Sincere and readable memoir
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
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
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.