Noelle McCarthy Grand: Becoming My Mother's Daughter


Code 9781844886500
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'A really vivacious account of frayed family relationships across decades and around the world' Financial Times Podcast

Quick-witted, charismatic and generous; angry, vicious and hurt; in pubs all over Cork City, Noelle McCarthy's mother Carol rages against her life and everything she has lost. Soon after leaving college, in the early years of the millennium, Noelle flees. Even on the other side of the world, with fame and success within her grasp, Noelle cannot escape an appetite for self-destruction. Life spirals out of control until she too is in danger of losing everything. At thirty, she pulls back from the brink.

Over a decade later, Carol is dying. Finally, it seems, mother and daughter will make peace. Except Carol has no interest in admitting her own mortality - she will die as she lived, entirely on her own terms. If there is any reckoning to be done between past and present, Noelle will be doing it on her own.

Grand is the deeply moving and surprisingly funny outcome of Noelle's yearning to understand her mother, and to make sense of their lives, together and apart. Most of all, it is a dazzlingly honest memoir about becoming a modern woman.

2023 Non-Fiction Winner at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

'Hooked me like a fish' New York Times

'I loved it! Stunningly told and every gorgeous word will haunt you' Tara Flynn

'Desperately funny, hysterically sad, so beautiful and so humane. All of life is in it' Meg Mason

'Compellingly readable' Hilary Fannin

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'Desperately funny, hysterically sad, so beautiful and so humane. All of life is in it. I utterly adored it'
- Meg Mason

'A really vivacious account of frayed family relationships across decades and around the world'
- Financial Times Podcast

'Grand hooked me like a fish. It is a tale of recovery and growth [and] deep, deep love'
- New York Times

'I loved it! The writing is stunning. Noelle McCarthy has an incredible knack for sharing the darkest of memories with a lightness of touch. You won't want to put this book down, but once you do, every gorgeous word will haunt you. Beautiful and compelling'
- Tara Flynn

'A fierce and sometimes hilarious reflection on the maddening endurance of love between mother and daughter. McCarthy's prose sparkles in the darkness of addiction, shame, and inherited trauma. I devoured this book'
- Aingeala Flannery

'Grand is a love story and occasionally a hate story too. A vital, unexpected love letter to family, flaws, and the fact that none of us is perfect. McCarthy writes to remind us that sometimes you have to pull at the threads, perhaps unravel completely, to find your way back to a life a little less undone'
- Cristin Leach

'An eloquent exploration of generational trauma told with immense wit and candour. Compellingly readable'
- Hilary Fannin

'A rich, unsettling read - a bit like jumping on a moving train as it speeds through shifting landscapes. Enthralling, unnerving and above all, honest'
- Lia Mills

'I really loved this book . . . beautifully endearing and candid'
- June Caldwell

'Humane and wryly funny . . . so readable, relatable and ultimately uplifting'
- Elizabeth Boyle

'A searingly honest memoir, as close to the bone as it is to the heart'
- Maia Dunphy


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