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Extended Audio Sample Grace: A Novel Audiobook, by Natashia Deón Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Natashia Deón Narrator: Lisa Reneé Pitts Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781504729505
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For a runaway slave in the 1840s South, life on the run can be just as dangerous as life under a sadistic master. That’s what fifteen-year-old Naomi learns after she escapes the brutal confines of life on an Alabama plantation. Striking out on her own, she leaves behind her beloved Momma and sister Hazel and takes refuge in a Georgia brothel run by a freewheeling, gun-toting Jewish madam named Cynthia. There, amid a revolving door of gamblers, prostitutes, and drunks, Naomi falls into a star-crossed love affair with a smooth-talking white man named Jeremy who frequents the brothel’s dice tables all too often.

The product of Naomi and Jeremy’s union is Josey, whose white skin and blonde hair mark her as different from the other slave children on the plantation. Having been taken in as an infant by a free slave named Charles, Josey has never known her mother, who was murdered at her birth. Josey soon becomes caught in the tide of history when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaches the declining estate and a day of supposed freedom quickly turns into a day of unfathomable violence that will define Josey—and her lost mother—for years to come.

Deftly weaving together the stories of Josey and Naomi—who narrates the entire novel, unable to leave her daughter alone in the land of the living—Grace is a sweeping, intergenerational saga featuring a group of outcast women during one of the most compelling eras in American history. It is a universal story of freedom, love, and motherhood, told in a dazzling and original voice and set against a rich and transporting historical backdrop.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Superlative, gorgeously written…[and] scorchingly brilliant.”

    Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author

  • “[An] immersive tale…You’ll believe every word.”


  • “A multigenerational story about strong women in one of the darkest eras of American history.”


  • “Deón…writes with her nerves, generating terrific suspense…It’s Ms. Deón’s real and rare ability to make reading a felt, almost physical experience…Deón is a graphic and unsparing storyteller.”

    New York Times

  • “[A] haunting portrait of slavery, love, and violence.”


  • “Reminds us of the power of motherhood and the idea of freedom.”

    Elite Daily

  • “Narrator Lisa Renée Pitts delivers the intricately woven story…[and] reveals lives filled with humiliation, dehumanization, and hopelessness. She presents Deón’s characters and unrelenting images truthfully…Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “Deón is a writer of great talent, using lyrical language and convincing, unobtrusive dialect to build portraits of each tragic individual as the sprawling story moves to its redemptive end.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)

  • “Adroit characterizations, a powerful narrative voice, and the propulsive plotting of a suspense novel.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “This is the violent, terrifying world of the antebellum South…Vivid imagery, deft characterization, and spellbinding language carry the reader through this suspenseful…haunting, visceral novel.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “There are moments of love in this harsh, affecting first novel, but the story mostly conveys the taking of personal freedom and human dignity.”

    Library Journal

  • “A swirling wild ride into the sheer terror of slavery…The women and men in this novel transcend all notions of what we’ve read before.”

    Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here

  • “A book that sustains a murder ballad’s intensity for hundreds of pages and gets into your bones like a song.”

    Rebecca Solnit, author of Men Explain Things to Me

  • A HelloGiggles Pick of New Books You Need to Read This Summer
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week for June 13, 2016
  • A LitHub Pick of Buzz Books of Spring/Summer 2016
  • A People Pick of the Week for June 2016 
  • A Newsday Pick
  • An Elite Daily Pick for Books You'll Regret Not Reading This Summer
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2016 Selection for Fiction
  • A Library Journal Best Book of 2016 for Historical Fiction
  • A 2016 AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year for Fiction
  • A New York Times Best Book of 2016
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About the Author

Natashia Deón is the recipient of a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship and has been awarded fellowships and residencies at Yale, the Bread Loaf School of English, Dickinson House in Belgium, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Her stories and essays have appeared in the Rumpus, Rattling Wall, B O D Y, Feminist Wire, and You: An Anthology of Second Person Essays, among others. Named one of 2013’s Most Fascinating People by LA Weekly, she has an MFA from the University of California, Riverside, and is the creator of the popular LA-based reading series Dirty Laundry Lit. She has taught creative writing for Gettysburg College, PEN Center USA, and 826LA. A practicing lawyer, she currently teaches law at Trinity Law School and Mount Saint Mary’s University.

About the Narrator

Lisa Reneé Pitts is an accomplished actress in theater, film, and television, appearing in The Practice, The Shield, and Law & Order. A native New Yorker, she holds a BFA in theater arts from Rutgers University and resides in Burbank, California.