This was a very thought provoking book. Fear is a very paralyzing emotion for the main character in this book. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming.
The majesty of nature, the meaning of courage, the redemptive power of love and the pathos of isolationall are gracefully explored in Doerr's story of the price paid for a gift. So why does so little seem to happen in this beautiful, ponderous and sometimes monotonous first novel by the author of the exquisite collection The Shell Collector? David Winkler has seen glimpses of the future ever since he was a boy. As a 32-year-old hydrologist in Anchorage, Alaska, he dreams of his future wife; soon they meet, fall in love and run away to Ohio, where she gives birth to their daughter, Grace. But when he dreams that he fails to save Grace from a flood, Winkler abandons wife and child, hoping to flee the future. He becomes a hermetic handyman on a Caribbean island near St. Vincent, befriended by a local family. The years pass until, emboldened by his surrogate family's grown daughter, a gifted marine biologist, Winkler realizes that he must embark on a journey to discover if Grace is alive. This is a lyrical tale tuned a bit too fine: Doerr's dreamy prose accords more attention to nature than character, so that Winkler, transfixed by the wonders of water and snowflakes but singularly unreflective about his actual life, is a frustratingly opaque protagonist. There are gorgeous moments here, but a stifling lack of story.
wonderfully written...moving ....sad.
The setting reminded me of Smilla's Sense of Snow. The protagonist's life and search for meaning lead the reader through a maze as he searches for his daughter and finds grace throughout the journey. I really liked it.
A very interesting and symbolic novel. Great for book clubs!
It is rare for me not to finish a book I start, but this was one of those cases. I thought the premise was fascinating--a man who can foretell tragedy for his family, but the execution failed for me. There were times I felt like I was reading a science textbook because there was so much about water and snow.
Interesting story, although it drags in the middle. Author is very descriptive of the setting and the characters feelings, but I was anxious for him to "just get on with the story". Moves too slow for my taste.
David Winkler, the 59-year-old protagonist of Anthony Doerr's debut novel, About Grace, is a dreamer but not, alas, of the carefree, California kind. Instead Winkler is a modern-day Cassandra who dreams about future events -- some momentous, some trivial -- and when he tries to warn people, he meets, for the most part, with incredulity and skepticism. As a result of this questionable gift, he also shares characteristics with two other legendary figures: Like Oedipus, Winkler is cursed with a terrible prophecy about himself that he does his utmost to avoid, and, like Odysseus, he must go on a long journey and endure many hardships before he can return home. In the hands of a lesser writer, these mythic premises might prove disastrous, but in those of the wonderfully talented Doerr, the result is a beautiful and expansive novel. A Washington Post Bookworld Best Book of the Year