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Extended Audio Sample Days of Grace: A Novel Audiobook, by Catherine Hall Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (278 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Catherine Hall Narrator: Josephine Bailey Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2010 ISBN: 9781400187409
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At the beginning of World War II, twelve-year-old Nora Lynch is one of thousands of London children sent away to the safety of the English countryside. Her surrogate family, Reverend and Mrs. Rivers and their daughter, Grace, are like no one she has ever met, offering shelter, affection, and the sister she never had. But Nora is too young and too naïve to understand the cracks beneath the surface of her idyllic new life at the rectory or the disappointments of the Riverses' marriage. And as her friendship with Grace grows more intense, she aches to become even closer. What happens next is a secret that she keeps for more than fifty years, a secret that she can begin to reveal only when, elderly and alone, Nora knows that she is close to the end. A beautiful meditation on love, friendship, and family, Days of Grace is a stunning debut that brings a tumultuous era to life. Nora tells her story in alternating chapters from the past and present, projecting her childhood nostalgia with a cinematic glow. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Bailey’s light British accent is perfect, and her subtle adjustments of pitch and clarity, which permit effortless transitions from naïve child to bitter old woman, are most impressive.”

    AudioFile

  • “The prose, flitting between the present and wartime Kent, is as crisp, efficient, and quietly moving as Nora herself. Her attempt to find redemption and her struggle to forgive herself will engage readers to the end.”

    Booklist

  • Sarah Waters meets Daphne du Maurier. Harper's Bazaar UK

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Et | 2/20/2014

    " Kept my interest, good story "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judith Yeabsley | 2/12/2014

    " Really enjoyed this. It was not cheery but a good story and I raced through it. It follows a girl evacuated during the war who falls in love with the daughter of the host family and all the repercussions that emanate from that and her decisions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allyson | 2/7/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book.....the beginning was kind of slow but once you got into the story, it was very intriguing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K. East | 1/30/2014

    " This book had a dark side to it from the start that almost put me off, but eventually, the main character grew on me and I wanted to know how it ended. This is the third book I've read lately that alternates chapters between two times in the life of the main character [or characters]. It's an interesting device, and it can make more interesting a story that might otherwise fall flat. This one lacked something in the telling that would have made it more immediate, more urgent. The historical background was interesting and made real, but I never really felt the depth of passion Nora had for Grace. Despite that fault, I still found it engrossing, hence the 4 stars. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Natalie Ethington | 1/22/2014

    " Nora looks back on her youth in England during WWII and her friendship with Grace. I enjoyed the message but necessarily the way in which it was presented. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simone | 1/19/2014

    " It was an easy read and the story was interesting from an historical perspective. Not the greatest book I ever read but OK. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daffy | 1/18/2014

    " It took me quite a while to get into this, but once I was hooked I was totally absorbed. Has a good feel for London. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally Edwards | 1/17/2014

    " Loved the author's writing style. Will try another of her books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jo at Jaffareadstoo | 9/11/2013

    " 12yr old Nora is evacuated to kent on the eve of WW2, where she quickly becomes part of the family and is especially close to Grace. On the whole I enjoyed this, although it took me simply ages to read. It was a bit ponderous in places, and I found myself a bit bored by parts of it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Danni | 8/15/2013

    " Its not a bad book... but it lacked some spark to make it exciting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita | 7/5/2013

    " While this was a pretty engrossing book, it's one of those books where bad things keep happening and you keep waiting for it to let up, but it never does. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 4/22/2013

    " This book was told in two voices - Nora a young evacuee from London in World War 2 and also in the voice of elderly Nora who is dying of cancer. It was very interesting how Nora was affected by this for the rest of her life and how damaged she was by her childhood experience. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carolynne | 11/11/2012

    " An idyllic suburban house where a WWII evacuee, Nora Lynch, is housed proves to be full of dark secrets, and one of them is Nora's own. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Connie | 7/13/2012

    " Nora, an anti-heroine with annoying viewpoints. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret | 4/17/2012

    " I lived the twist and turns and I never really knew where I was being taken. Really good book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annie | 1/6/2012

    " It's not that I didn't enjoy this, I was just expecting rather more. The childhood evacuation story line was excellent, very descritive and engaging: Nora and Rose's story counterbalanced it nicely. But I thought the last third was a little disappointing and the ending did rather telegraph itself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosemary Munson | 1/1/2012

    " What a variety of emotions one experiences when reading this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Juliet | 9/19/2011

    " Readable but stereotypical. I kept wanting it to just push at the boundaries a wee bit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark Hornsey | 8/22/2011

    " Truly wonderful story of what "love" means to two teenage girls brought together in WW2 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 seanat (elka) | 7/7/2011

    " Enjoyed this but there weren't many surprises, it was pretty predictable really. An easy read but not particularly memorable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 6/9/2011

    " Truly wonderful story of what "love" means to two teenage girls brought together in WW2 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 6/6/2011

    " It is possible to have a non-tragic ending to such a story, an author should try it some time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hayley | 5/16/2011

    " Sad, but well structured, well written novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret | 1/27/2011

    " I lived the twist and turns and I never really knew where I was being taken. Really good book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Claudette | 1/3/2011

    " It was an easy read and the story was interesting from an historical perspective. Not the greatest book I ever read but OK. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shellie | 12/14/2010

    " I loved this book. A bit distressing though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Natalie | 12/7/2010

    " Nora looks back on her youth in England during WWII and her friendship with Grace. I enjoyed the message but necessarily the way in which it was presented. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita | 8/24/2010

    " While this was a pretty engrossing book, it's one of those books where bad things keep happening and you keep waiting for it to let up, but it never does. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roxanne | 8/11/2010

    " I have to say, I kind of loved this book. I got all choked up at the end. Nora, the narrator, is a conflicted and not always likeable character, but that just made her more real. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 8/7/2010

    " 3.5 stars really. It was a good quick read, but nothing you need to run right out and get. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 7/19/2010

    " This book was told in two voices - Nora a young evacuee from London in World War 2 and also in the voice of elderly Nora who is dying of cancer. It was very interesting how Nora was affected by this for the rest of her life and how damaged she was by her childhood experience. "

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About the Author

Catherine Hall was born in the Lake District in 1973 and brought up in an extended family on a remote hill farm. After reading English at Cambridge University, she moved to London, where she worked in documentary film production and then for an international peace-building organization before becoming a freelance writer and editor for human rights and development charities. She now divides her time between London and Italy.

About the Narrator

Josephine Bailey’s impeccable narrations include the British classics Jane Eyre and The Secret Garden. She has also used her subtly nuanced style to enliven historical fiction and light romances. She has won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award.