Struggling New York actress Alison has an outwardly good life: toned body, plenty of dates, a comfortable daily regimen. Still, she feels stagnant, empty, and as blocked as the river view from her Upper West Side apartment. Now divorced and in her mid-thirties, she has never gotten past an early childhood trauma of being torn away from her brother and sister when her parents separated. Since then, nothing sticks. No one stays. She craves a sense of permanence, a place to call home.
To shake things up, Alison makes a bold, possibly foolhardy move—she relocates to bureaucracy-riddled Rome, where she barely speaks the language, knows no one except the elusive Casanova who gave her one vacation night of pleasure, and has no acting work waiting.
In a series of tragi-comic encounters, she tries to settle into an exotic culture, looks for amore in all the wrong places, and begins to break into the acting world.
After a serious accident, Alison’s hopes for an Italian fantasy life come crashing down. Back in New York, the personal tragedies and career obstacles pile up until salvation arrives from an unexpected source.
A Place Called Grace is a humorous, hopeful, bittersweet contemporary memoir that shows how a seemingly unmoored existence can find its safe, solid center after all.