Moments of Glad Grace

Wearing, Alison

  • “Beautifully written and perfectly executed from first to last sentence.” — Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi

    “A richly layered journey, charmingly told.” — Plum Johnson, author of They Left Us Everything

    A moving and witty memoir about a daughter’s evolving relationship with her aging father and their shared journey to belonging.

    The story begins as a trip from Canada to Ireland in search of genealogical data and documents. Being 80 and in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, Joe invites his daughter Alison to come along as his research assistant, which might have worked very well had she any interest — any at all — in genealogy.

    Very quickly, the father-daughter pilgrimage becomes more comical than fruitful, more of a bittersweet adventure than a studious mission. And rather than rigorous genealogy, their explorations move into the realm of family and forgiveness, the primal search for identity and belonging, and questions about responsibility to our ancestors and the extent to which we are shaped by the people who came before us.

    Though continually bursting with humor, Moments of Glad Grace is a story about identity, history, and ultimately becomes a song of appreciation for the precious and limited time we have with our parents.


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  • Alison Wearing is the bestselling author of Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter, an Indigo Top 50 pick shortlisted for the Edna Staebler Prize and longlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize, and Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey. She teaches, performs solo multimedia plays, and leads writing workshops internationally.

  • Published: April 2020

    ISBN: 9781770415133

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.

    Pages: 256


Moments of Glad Grace is an endearing delight.” — Shelf Awareness

“This is a well written book that celebrates love and maturity, wisdom and forgiveness, and the hard earned peace that occurs when you have the courage to pass through heartfelt honesty to the other side of tragedy, loss and sorrow. Highly recommended.” — Vancouver Sun

“Dancing between hilarity and the poignancy of a last sojourn with her father, Alison Wearing once again reveals herself as a sharp and tender observer of this mortal coil we call life. Moments of Glad Grace is a journey you won’t want to miss.” — Merilyn Simonds, author of Refuge

“I adored this memoir because I could identify with it so much . . . Thank you, Alison Wearing, for sharing your day-by-day adventure in Ireland.” — Gwen Ellington, Friends of Nancy Guinn Library, Conyers GA

“Like a well-cut diamond, and life itself, this book has many facets that glitter, and sparkle, and illuminate in countless captivating ways . . . Thoughtfully organized, perceptive, witty and tender, leavened by humour, and exquisitely written, Moments is as finely-honed a piece of work as I have read in a while.” — The Ormsby Review

“A woman travels with her father, diagnosed with Parkinson's, to Ireland in pursuit of genealogical records, only to realize the important discoveries lie in their own relationship.” — Shelf Awareness for Readers

“There are raw moments of memory and clashing meaning, as in all family memoirs, but the prevailing tone is good-humoured, propelled by a sweetly expressed awareness of how brief a life we share with our loved ones.” — Maclean’s

“Witty and heart-achy … Wearing is a charming and skilled storyteller and I love how she brings fleeting images into clear focus, like standing beside her aging parent in a suburb of South Dublin waiting for a bus: ‘It is a perfectly unremarkable moment. And all that is important and true is here.’” — Quill & Quire

“This is a wise, funny, and tender book, beautifully written and perfectly executed from first to last sentence. It’s about a daughter and her ageing father, it’s about genealogy and identity, it’s about Ireland, but actually it’s about how we love the ones we love. Moments of Glad Grace is a travelogue of the heart. It’s a road you’ll want to travel.” — Yann Martel, #1 bestselling author of Life of Pi

“A richly layered journey, charmingly told.” — Plum Johnson, author of They Left Us Everything

“It was a beautifully written, bittersweet account of a father/daughter trip, full of optimism and resignation — I really liked it and will recommend it.” — Steacy Johnson, Ottawa Public Library

“Bittersweet and occasionally comical.” — Quill & Quire

“A emotionally moving, engagingly witty, fully entertaining and impressively memorable memoir of aging, familial love, and the hunt for roots and belonging, Moments of Glad Grace by Alison Wearing is especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Biography collections.” — Wisconsin Bookwatch (Midwest Book Review)

“The good-humoured and funny pages of Moments of Glad Grace, Alison Wearing's account of her trip to Ireland with her 80-year-old father, is propelled by a sweetly expressed awareness of how brief a life we share with our loved ones.” — Maclean’s

“Peppered with moments of humor — when informing customs of the nature of their trip to Ireland, Wearing confuses the terms genealogy and gynecology — this account of a week spent determining a family’s history delivers lessons for learning more about living family members as well … Wearing’s account will appeal to readers curious about genealogy and Irish history, as well as those facing the waning days of their parents’ lives.” — Library Journal