Kathryn Broussard has managed her life with dignity and an I-know-you-have-feelings-but-I'm-coming-through-anyway attitude. She exudes confidence and control over the land much as a reigning queen rules her court. Her main focus - Grace, her daughter. Although grown, Grace depends on her mother's razor-sharp decision-making ability for everything. All is well in the land of dysfunctional mother-daughterhood until the unthinkable happens. Kathryn dies.
With her mother now gone, Grace is forced to manage her own life for the first time. And Kathryn must find a way to maintain control of her daughter, even though unusual circumstances from the "other side" present a fair share of obstacles to overcome.
A mother's love, however dysfunctional, is a force to be reckoned with.
©2012 Terry Lee (P)2014 World Castle Publishing, LLC
The story follows a young woman, Gracie, who has a lot on her shoulders, life is tough. Now, throw a control freak of a mother into the mix and you get quite a huge burden of stress.
This is what Gracie has been dealing with for all her life, it has resulted in low self-esteem and great vulnerability. But this she only discovers when she is faced with the death of her mother: Kathryn (Queenland as she becomes known in the 'next world'. And this is where the story really starts: with Gracie taking control of her own life. But of course, a control freak of a mother cannot resist the temptation to remain in control of Gracie's life, even if her being dead is quite the hindrance. So Queenland pursues Mission: Saving Gracie. Surprisingly, there are few disasters but there definitely are valuable moments of self discovery.
I have weirdly become quite fascinated with books which explore the 'beyond death' culture. It's always so interesting to read (or listen, in this case) about a writer's thoughts on the subject. In this book, Terry Lee describes a pleasant environment with friendly (but sometimes annoying) dead people. I must say of all the dead people, Ruby had to be my favourite. Michelle Babb, the narrator of the audiobook version, executed the character so humorously. I think this character was enough to make this book so adorable.
In equal measure, I liked Gracie's journey to finally be able to stand on her own two feet, to adapt the 'mother' role for her children, to step out of her comfort zone and help another helpless person. As well as, her strength in coping with a distant husband. It was appreciated to find that my feelings regarding her husband were so very wrong. Be warned though, there are some teary moments- obviously with the passing of her mother's death but other moments when we realise how Kathryn became so controlling.
The narrator, Michelle Babb, was wonderful with this book. The characters were performed excellently, and she certainly nailed the Ruby character. I have to say that this was one of the books where I can only recommend the audio book version, it is far more enjoyable. And with the flitting of character perspectives, between mother and daughter, it is definitely more helpful in making sense of what is going on.
I received the audio book for review.
"MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS!!"
Always is, but only listened
Ruby!! Ruby is funny!
Ruby and Grace
** I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **
In liked this story very much, and it was narrated quite well, Michelle always does a good job...What I didn't like was how they made Gracie look like an incapable twit at times.. If you can be a good om to a special needs child, you are very capable...Gracie's moms lack of trust in how capable her daughter was, was quite controlling...even though she loved her daughter very much! I like how Both Gracie and Katherine learn how to let go...and I was very proud of both of them in the end...I did cry a bit, because this is a touching story...and it is well worth your time and a credit!!!
I did not read the print version. Good audio helps picture the characters in your mind, and this audio did this.
I really liked the character Ruby and the performer makes her come to life. You can just picture her standing in front of you and popping that gum!
The voices. She added the characterization so vividly that it is easy to picture each person. Her voice is very entertaining to listen to. She puts humor into the reading. The voice inflections were great.
I don't like to listen straight through and this book was good to turn off and contemplate the events. This slowed down the book so there was full enjoyment.
Very light book and fun to listen to.
"Letting Go is Never Easy"
Perhaps...I'm sure there would be additional insights the second time around. Interaction between parent and child is a universal theme.
I think it was the realization that there's a lot of Grace and Catherine in me; and, I'm sure, in a lot of women. Being an "always right" Mom or a "never sure of myself" daughter is all too common.
Don't know if I had a favorite scene, but I really liked Ruby...she was a trip!
Nothing extreme, although it was easy to feel the intense emotion Grace felt when her mother was dying. It's difficult to face the death of a parent who you depend on for just about everything and yet resent for making you feel like a perpetual child. And as Catherine began to see that Grace was indeed capable of caring for herself and her family on her own, you could almost feel the transition from worrying Mom to freed spirit.
I really enjoyed the reading by Michelle Babb. She speaks with clarity and sensitivity and makes the book "come alive". The characters become real as you listen...
"Entertaining! Funny! Difficult to stop listening"
The only thing that comes to mind is: a-must-read. I generally only read mysteries, but took a chance on this and it was really, very good. I just couldn't stop listening.
The theme, of course, and how the two separate story lines intertwined so gracefully (no pun intended).
This is the first audiobook I've heard Michelle Babb narrate and it was fantastic. She has such a wide range of voices to differentiate each character. It was amazing.
When Quinlan was listening to Gracie speaking to her on the beach. That was a very touching moment in the story.
"Story Long to be Remembered"
There are several things. The way it made me think about how I raised my daughter. The look at the Ms Lee version of the here-after.
I would compare this is "Heaven Can Wait". A story about a man who was killed before his time and while finding him another body learning a lot about life.
Yes, I have listened to Michelle's other performances. This was even better than the last. Michelle really brought this book to life for me. I think I enjoyed it more listening to her than I would have reading it. Where there were songs she sang which made it seem more life like. Her depiction of the individual characters was excellent from the hard nosed Yankee, Ruby to Maggie's British accent.
YES!!! Every time I had to stop, the story stayed on my mind.
I do know that this story will stick with me for a long time. We all struggle as parents to protect our children and we always want them to have the best and not to fail. But where does that parental desire become the undoing of our children. When we do so much for our children that they do not learn to do for them selves. This story is a good look into that scenario. As a mother, it made me question did I do the right thing as parent. I have to say I look at my daughter, see the amazing woman she has become, and hope that I did they right things by her. Read the book, even better listen to it. I will amazed if it doesn't pull at your heartstrings as it did mine.
No, I usually don't listen to any book twice.
I didn't care for the narration of this book. Difficult to follow due to inappropriate spacing with sentences.
"Saving Gracie was a great read !"
Yes, The narrator did a great job on hitting all of the emtions. She made you feel like you were right there in the story.
When Gracie realized she could go on without her mom. She would miss her but she had to push on with her life.
She nailed every emotion. She kept you going.
Yes, I had an extreme reaction .I did both I cried and laughed
I would suggest the audiable book to my friends and family.
Saving Gracie, by Terry Lee, is a fun story about growing up! And we are talking about grown-ups growing up! Gracie depended on her mom, Kathryn, to keep life balanced. Then Kathryn dies and Gracie realizes how lost she is. Can she step up to the plate and make good decisions and make something of herself without her mom there? Or is her mom really not there? Kathryn was in for quite a shock when she passed over and got quite a different look at what Heaven is. Do I really have to go to these orientation classes? I just want to go back and help save Gracie? Will the powers that be allow her to do so? And just what will the consequences be? How much control can Kathryn bargain for? A humorous look at a mother-daughter relationship made enjoyable by the narration work of Michelle Babb who, as usual, does a great job of giving voice to the various characters.
I was given a complimentary copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest opinion.
"I laughed, I cried! Mother/Daughter love"
I laughed, I cried, and every single mother/daughter will be able to relate. Although Gracie & Kathryn have a not so typical relationship, there is so much love between them that it takes you on a whirlwind of emotions. The narration by Michelle Babb was on point (as always). I loved how she gave life to everyone, but especially Ruby! Without any spoilers I will just say that the end is heartwarming and you feel like even though so much has happened, there is a peace. I was gifted this audio in exchange for an honest review.
What a touching yet humorus story of coping with loss and developing a "new normal." I loved the reference to "Meet in the Middle," by Diamond Rio. I would like to think Grace would have occasionally felt her mother visit like in Diamond Rio song "I Believe."
Every now and then,
Soft as breath upon my skin,
I feel you come back again.
The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed. I was bit surprised that there wasn't a southern accent, but Michelle Babb is enjoyable to listen to read.
“I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the narrator in exchange
for an honest review”
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