The Epiphany of Grace Hymel
The much-awaited memoir of David Pierson, and his literary tribute to his mom.
“The Epiphany of Grace” is a true story of a single mother’s struggle to raise four children in the segregated South of the 1960s.
Deserted after thirteen years of marriage Grace leaves California to return to her home state of Louisiana and is immediately confronted with everything she had escaped, the racial prejudices of her family, the social morés of the time, discrimination of women, and poverty wages in the workplace.
This story shifts from poignant scenes of deep emotion to laugh-out-loud chapters as this heroic woman remains committed to providing for her children.
Burdened by extreme poverty, conflicted by her faith, and determined to teach her children good values in a time when it was dangerous to feel contrary, Grace’s choice was stark but clear. She could either save her soul or her children. Not both.
Listen to an Excerpt
I was leaving other friends in California; but Jim Hardy, with his death, became a friend I could take with me to Louisiana. Since he was lost to everybody anyway, he could accompany me on my melancholy trip to a place I had only heard about.
In life, Jim Hardy was just a kid like me, but in death, he became much more. His haunting prediction that he would never see me again, grew in my mind until I came to picture him as someone possessing profound unearthly wisdom, so for three long nights I stared out the window of the train at the solitary moon swimming in and out the clouds and, imagining he was there for me, threw myself heartily into prayerful conversations with his soul.
But Jim Hardy was no more communicative with me than God had been, for try as I might to see the face of my friend in the moon and night sky, all I really saw was my own dark reflection in the window of the train.
I wasn’t the only one who made that long train trip with Mom to Louisiana. There were three other pilgrim souls, each laden with its own private griefs.
Peg, I think, half-expected Mom to change her mind about going to Louisiana and half-expected Dad to leave Molly and come back home. I don’t believe my sister considered the possibility our train would actually leave the station. And when it did and she saw Dad turn and go away, she sat down, gazing dumbfoundedly out the window for the longest time. Through Arizona, New Mexico, and much of Texas, the sense of what was happening would strike her anew. She would be combing her Barbie doll, then suddenly forget all about its hair, and look off as though she were a million miles away. A minute later with a pretend smile, she would say something to Donna or Philip, as though she had not just come back from Venus or wherever she was in her mind.
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“For her, the choice was stark but clear. She could save either her soul or her children. Not both.”
“Without giving anything about the story away, WOW! Buy this book now. You won't regret it. The Epiphany of Grace is incredible.”
“Start this book early in the day, because if you're anything like me, you won't be able to put it down. I stayed up half the night to finish it. I got ZERO sleep but it was worth it. I will be reading The Epiphany of Grace again.”
“What an incredible woman! It's amazing everything she endured to raise her kids. And to be in the South during that time had to be surreal. It's hard to even imagine it today. The Epiphany of Grace was a great book!”
“This is one of those books that should be made into a movie. I could definitely see The Epiphany of Grace winning a lot of awards for some actors.”
“The Epiphany of Grace is that book you weren't expecting, that you can't put down. It's a heart-wrenching story with moments of joy that have you laughing with the family. It's a very personal book written with a lot of love about a strong woman struggling through hard times and raising 4 kids by herself. ”