4.5 73
by Richard Paul Evans, Lisette Lecat, John Dossett

View All Available Formats & Editions

We Can Bury the Past, But It Never Really Dies

Dear Listener,

I am often asked where my stories come from. I'm not always sure. Sometimes a story just comes to me in waves (or trickles) of inspiration and oftentimes it's not until the very end of the book that I see where my characters are taking me. This is such a tale.



We Can Bury the Past, But It Never Really Dies

Dear Listener,

I am often asked where my stories come from. I'm not always sure. Sometimes a story just comes to me in waves (or trickles) of inspiration and oftentimes it's not until the very end of the book that I see where my characters are taking me. This is such a tale.

Grace is the story of a young runaway girl and the boy who hides her from a frightening world too large and unfathomable for him to comprehend. It is also about two brothers and the love that binds them together through difficult times.

In some ways this is the most autobiographical of all my novels. When I was eight years old my father lost his job, and we sold our home in beautiful and aptly named Arcadia, California, to move to a poor neighborhood in Utah and into a rundown home like the one I describe in the story. I have no fond memories of that time. Not one. I wanted to go home.

I've found my home now, and it has nothing to do with the place where I live, and everything to do with the family I love.


Richard Paul Evans

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Would it be Christmas without a tale from Evans (The Gift; The Christmas Box)? In the 1960s, Eric discovers his schoolmate Grace hiding in a dumpster after running away from her abusive stepfather. He offers her shelter in an old backyard clubhouse and becomes her best friend, not realizing the depths of her painful family life until it's too late. Years later, Eric, now a doctor devoted to helping abused children, reflects on this tragic period of his life. Touching and sad, this is sure to match Evans's previous successes on the best sellers list. [See Prepub Alert, LJ6/15/08.]

—Rebecca Vnuk

Product Details

Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt



My memory of her has grown on my soul

like ivy climbing a home until it begins to tear and

tug at the very brick and mortar itself.


DECEMBER 25, 2006

It's Christmas day. There is Christmas music playing from the radio in the other room. Mitch Miller's "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." It's a little late, I think; Santa's come and gone, as have our children and grandchildren. They've left an impressive mess in their wake, but I don't care. As I get older I've come to treasure any evidence of family. Snow is falling outside and all is peaceful and still. In such moments it is possible to believe that the world could still be good.

Something profound happened to me today. It started innocently enough -- as most life-changing experiences do -- with a request from my grandchildren to read them a Christ-mas story, "The Little Match Girl." I've never been a fan of the tale, but, like most grandparents, I'm not one to deny my grandchildren. As I read to them, something happened to me; by the end of the story I was crying. Four-year-old Ebony Brooke tried to console me. "It's okay, Grandpa," she said. "It's just a story."

It's not just a story, there really was a little match girl and she changed my life in ways I'm still trying to understand. Even the grandchildren sitting before me wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her. As important as she is to me, I've never shared her story. It's finally time that I did.

My memory, like my eyesight, has waned with age and I pray I can get the story right. Still, there are things that become clearer to me as I grow older. This much I know: too many things were kept secret in those days. Things that never should have been hidden. And things that should have.

Who was she? She was my first love. My first kiss. She was a little match girl who could see the future in the flame of a candle. She was a runaway who taught me more about life than anyone has before or since. And when she was gone my innocence left with her.

There is pain in bringing out these memories. I suppose I don't really know why I feel compelled to write at this time, only that I am. Maybe I want those closest to me to finally know what has driven me for all these years. Why, every Christmas, I occasionally slip away into my thoughts to someplace else. Or maybe it's just that I still love her and wonder, after all this time, if I can still find grace.

Copyright © 2008 by Richard Paul Evans

Meet the Author

Richard Paul Evans is the #1 bestselling author of The Christmas Box. Each of his more than twenty-five novels has been a New York Times bestseller. There are more than twenty million copies of his books in print worldwide, translated into more than twenty-four languages. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Mothers Book Award, the Romantic Times Best Women’s Novel of the Year Award, the German Audience Gold Award for Romance, two Religion Communicators Council Wilbur Awards, the Washington Times Humanitarian of the Century Award and the Volunteers of America National Empathy Award. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri, and their five children. You can learn more about Richard on Facebook at, or visit his website,

Brief Biography

Salt Lake City, Utah
Date of Birth:
October 11, 1962
Place of Birth:
Salt Lake City, Utah
B.A., University of Utah, 1984

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Grace 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Jen_NY10021 More than 1 year ago
This is one book that you can't put down once you start it. The ending was certainly not something I had expected. Actually, as I turned from page to page, I really had no idea how the book would have to end. I was enthralled with Eric, who on the surface seems like any typical teenager but as the story moves, you sense how trusting he is, and how compassionate he is towards Grace, and the love that develops between them as she shares her horrible secret and his urge to protect her at all means. In the end, you get the anguish he felt towards his family, as well as his anguish and the blame he had for himself for giving in and not being there. It was a world that no teenager should have to go through, whether as the abused child or a child forced to keep a secret for someone they care deeply about.
nursecraft More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the writing style of this author previously, so had a pretty good idea of the heart-touching quality of his work. This story was so intricately wound around the characters, that, by the end of the story, I had a bond with the 2 main characters. I must say the ending caught me by surprise or at least my reaction to the ending was a surprise to me. I think Mr. Evans got completely real and opened up eyes and hearts with this one. I hold this one dear and would share it with my family.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
If one were to look up the definition of "grace," this is what one would find: a virtue coming from God or disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency among others. But either of these definitions could apply to the beautiful story written by Mr. Evans.

GRACE is another amazing story written by the author of THE CHRISTMAS BOX. For those who have never read anything by Mr. Evans, GRACE will not disappoint, and will most likely lead you to read the rest of his works.
For those that are already fans (such as myself), this is another wonderful novel. Many of Mr. Evans' stories celebrate the Christmas season. Though not completely revolving around the holiday, GRACE reaches into the heart and touches all that is special with the Christmas spirit.

Eric's life is far from wonderful. After his father hurt his back, the family packed up everything they owned and moved from California to Utah. Money has dried up in the summer of 1962 and, to survive, his family moves into the house left vacant by the death of his maternal grandmother. The house is falling apart, but they are together and have family nearby to help them.

To help with finances, Eric works at McBurger Queen after school. It's there, while cleaning up after closing, that he discovers a girl "dumpster diving" (sorting through the Dumpster for food). He recognizes the girl from one of his classes, but doesn't want to embarrass her. Instead, he invites her inside and offers her the food that would otherwise be discarded.

While she is eating, he learns her name is Grace. She admits she is running away. Eric can't fathom what a girl his age will do to survive. Without thinking of the consequences, he offers up the only place he can think of, the clubhouse in the far corner of his backyard that he built with his younger brother, Joel.

He sets Grace up in the clubhouse with a heating pad for warmth, a flashlight, a transistor radio, and a supply of sleeping bags. As time goes by, the two become friends. He sneaks her food when he can. She sneaks out when it seems safe, and passes her time in the clubhouse with a collection of books from the library.

But her family starts a frantic search for Grace. Announcements are made at school. Flyers are put up around town. And eventually it makes the evening news. Eric is terrified he will be found out and that they will find Grace. He vows to keep her secret. His resolve grows more so when she reveals the reason for running away.

Eric is only fourteen, and the pressure from all sides start to mount. He knows Grace can never be turned over to her family, but what can a teenager do to help her in the end?

Eric berates himself as a grown man that he couldn't help Grace more. He continues to search for the grace he doesn't feel he deserves. Reminiscent of the ending of Saving Private Ryan, the main character searches for the goodness that he hopes he has lived up to in the eyes of those that have gone before him.

Mr. Evans has a way of bringing forth buried feelings. GRACE touches you deep in the spirit and makes you want to be a better person. With the upcoming Christmas season, may we all show a bit of grace to those around us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is just awesome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love this book it was so romantic and it really came to me. i love tennage love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please answer:):D
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
I loved the story, beautifully narrated by John Dossett, (which is awesome) who looks back over the years to his first love and the tragedy that followed and his purpose in life. It is a very sad but uplifting and inspirational story which was well written. It is raw with the feelings of a teenage boy as he cares for this abused girl and protects here at such as young age. He was an old soul. Sometimes it is good to remind adults of what struggles face adolescence teens today. Definitely a must read by Richard Paul Evans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TammyK1 More than 1 year ago
Evans does it again with this poignant Christmas tale.
Mik Mik Goodwin More than 1 year ago
I read this whole book yesterday. I couldnt put it down!!! I finished it before the school day was over. I started crying in language arts when she died (people stared at me... lol. It was kinda embarassing) and my english teacher (also named Mrs Johnson) thought i stabbed my self with my pencil or pen or something. But this was an AMAZING book! Im a sucker for tragic love stories (what almost 14 year old girl isn't?!) This was just as awesome as Nicholas Sparks books :) I cant wait to read more amazing books like this!!!! :D -Mik Mik
SassyMorena More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful story. I cried and smiled and cried some more. Richard Paul Evans does not disappoint when he writes. Worth the buy and worth the read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeff Licona More than 1 year ago
Grace was a brillant book I loved it! Sad but beautiful. I just wanted to freaking shoot and beat her stepdad though. Anyway I loved it and its a great read.
Brackston Austin More than 1 year ago
I love this book, i have read it soo many times!!! I love it!!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cynthia Arnold More than 1 year ago
keeps you interested, a new story line I have never come across in any other storybefore. this book will toach your heart and make you care for the charactors in it. kept me up late reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago