5.0 out of 5 stars I laughed, I cried, I fell in love with Grace and Baby! July 2, 2014
By robert m
I just finished Peggy Leon's new book Grace and Baby and all I can say is WOW! I loved this book, which seems fitting as this is a book about love- with a capital L. The love between sisters, the love between a mother and child, the love that comes from the acceptance of our unique abilities and the love of the small pleasures in life. The writing is beautiful, the story engaging and the ending life affirming.
The story deals with death but is brimming with life. Baby is severely developmentally disabled but all we notice is her brilliance. The page is black and white but all we see is color.
Grace and Baby are characters I will not soon forget.
By sandy derosa
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A simply fabulous book..it showed a wonderful humanity of life of 2 elderly sisters, one mentally challenged and the other who lovingly gave her life to being with her. there were scenes that had me laughing out loud and then parts so sad I wanted to cry. This is Peggy Leon's best yet and hope she keeps writing.
By Ginnah Howard on August 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Peggy Leon's novel, Grace and Baby, has it all: characters that I sympathized with completely and that are so real I want to call them "people." Plus a plot that is so wonderfully strange and compelling that I had to read it in two sittings. Leon works with ease in four different points of view and even shifts into brief interiors for a few secondary characters. Throughout the "present" of the story, she uses flashbacks that are critical to understanding Grace, Baby, Lily and Walter, but she does this without breaking the forward narrative momentum. Not an easy trick to pull off. Bravo.
By R. Weil on July 29, 2014
This is a spectacular book! I was captivated by the characters, who come alive with all their color and love and pain and joy. Peggy Leon builds a story full of fierce loyalty and love, and the creating of real family. When you read the word Truth, you will say Yes. When you read the passage of life she develops, you will find your own life enriched and the colors of the story will bring to life thoughts and emotions that will tug at you and linger. This is a book to savor and share with friends!!!!
GRACE AND BABY
CreateSpace (208 pp.)
$9.95 paperback, $3.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1496171207; June 9, 2014
Leon’s (A Theory of All Things, 2010, etc.) evocative novel centers on two aging sisters, one mentally challenged and the other her caretaker, whose home is unexpectedly joined by two more family members.
Septuagenarian Grace knows something is wrong with her even before the doctor confirms it. Cancer. She can’t stop worrying about what will happen to her older sister, Baby. For nearly her entire life, Grace has been caring for Baby, feeding her, dressing her, taking her to the bathroom, administering her insulin shots, keeping her supplied with her beloved crayons. She can’t imagine who would be willing or able to care for her large, opinionated, mentally disabled sister who laughs like Santa Claus and assigns colors to everything around her. Grace even tries, unsuccessfully, to take matters into her own hands. Out of the blue, their niece Lily arrives on their doorstep, along with her young son, Walter. They arrive from New York City bearing little besides scars: Track marks can be seen on Lily’s thin arms, while Walter carries the recent memory of being surrendered to the Department of Social Services. The four try to get used to one another as they gear up for the yearly family Fourth of July gathering, where carloads of aunts, uncles and cousins descend on Grace’s house, the family home where she and her siblings grew up. The story is told over the span of three summer months, and Leon switches perspective among the four main characters, each of whom experiences memories and flashbacks that help illuminate his or her character. The use of imagery is masterful, from Grace’s memories of Baby as a girl, kept cruelly in a cage by their parents, to Baby’s many interpretations of color. Leon’s descriptions of the small town, the house and the landscape create a sense of place that is vivid and tangible. With a clear, perceptive eye, she explores the tension of family relations, the realities of aging and dying, the gnawing need of addiction and the complexities of mental illness. Leon’s characters are filled with humanity and individuality, and readers will no doubt hope for even more from her.
Quiet, lyrical and probing—a jewel of a novel.
Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744 firstname.lastname@example.org