We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Grace and Mary | [Melvyn Bragg]

Grace and Mary

John visits his ageing mother, Mary, in her nursing home by the sea, and mourns the slow fading of her mind. Hoping to shore up her receding memory, he prompts her with songs, photographs, and questions from their shared past, taking her back to the 1940s, when she was a young woman and he a child in a small Cumbrian town. But as he rekindles her memories, it is her own mother she longs for - and John finds himself delving further back, into the secrets and silences of Mary's fractured childhood, and the unsung sorrows of her thwarted yet spirited mother, Grace.
Regular Price:$28.04
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

A profoundly moving story spanning three generations. Could he not put together a memory for her? Perhaps he could become her memory. To build it from fragments, or make it up. And most of all bring back Grace. Her own mother.

John visits his ageing mother, Mary, in her nursing home by the sea, and mourns the slow fading of her mind. Hoping to shore up her receding memory, he prompts her with songs, photographs, and questions from their shared past, taking her back to the 1940s, when she was a young woman and he a child in a small Cumbrian town. But as he rekindles her memories, it is her own mother she longs for - and John finds himself delving further back, into the secrets and silences of Mary's fractured childhood, and the unsung sorrows of her thwarted yet spirited mother, Grace.

In an effort to console his mother before she slips away, John sets out to re-imagine Grace's life, to honour the memory of a grandmother he barely knew.

Reaching from the late 19th century to the present, John's loving recreation of forgotten family history and unspoken maternal grief becomes a moving elegy for the long, hidden chain of love, loss, and self-sacrifice that forms each and every generation.

©2013 Melvyn Bragg (P)2013 Hodder & Stoughton

What the Critics Say

"Quite simply one of the best writers we have" (Sunday Telegraph)

What Members Say


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Sort by:
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    5/22/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A tender story that's both sad and uplifting"

    A son visiting his aging mother, Mary, is saddened by her advancing dementia but strives to encourage her to remember her past and her mother, Grace. The listener is taken back and forth in the family's history with revelations of prejudice, disappointments and courage. The book exposes attitudes in society in the first half of the 20th Century, particularly towards women. I felt immersed in the era that the book spans and the author's familiarity with his birthplace in Cumbria gave a great sense of where the story is set.
    The two narrators give voices to the characters that bring them to life.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Zeb
    Cumbria, UK
    5/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful heartwarming story"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. It is obviouslly based on personal experience which gives it more intensity. The book is basically the story of a man and his elderly mother, who is suffering from dementia and in a care home. He encourages her to talk about the past where the memories are still intact, and so we learn about Mary's past and that of her mother Grace.

    The tale touches on the issues of illegitimacy and how it was viewed in small-town Cumbria in the early 20th century; also that of ageing parents and how we cope with and react to the changes in them.

    The descriptions of Carlisle, Wigton and Silloth both present and past were evocative (I live in Carlisle and so know most of the places described). I particularly liked though the way the author writes about his conflicting feelings concerning his mother (through the character of John); the many emotions of anger, impatience, guilt, tenderness and love that are involved in coping with an ageing relative and coming to terms with the loss even before they are gone.

    This was beautifully and sensitively narrated.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ana
    Buckingham, Bucks, United Kingdom
    8/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Drawn in"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Told by two characters, one in the past, one in the present, warmly connecting the two, keeping you involved and therefore interested in the outcome.


    What does Gordon Griffin and Sandra Duncan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Age. Gordon's aging son, Sandra's young mother, they demonstrated their life experiences really well.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I was happy with taking breaks.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a different type of story, being told over two periods, but I enjoyed this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Greet
    UK
    6/19/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"

    Although a nice enough story and fine use of language, I had hoped for more from Melvyn Bragg, especially if you compare it to his "A Time to Dance".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Linda
    Bridgwater, United Kingdom
    5/25/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disaapointed"

    Having read the hype and reviews was very disappointed with this. Was rambling in places and the narration left a lot to be desired as a big Melvyn Bragg fan I felt somehow cheated with this particular novel

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Wendy
    6/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tugs at the heart strings"
    If you could sum up Grace and Mary in three words, what would they be?

    nostalgic salutary delightful


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Grace's dignity when she is shocked by the news of Alan's engagement


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but it was nicely divided by the two narrators


    Any additional comments?

    It made me sad and I loved it !!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.