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Now You See the Sky


This memoir—the first release on best-selling author Ann Hood’s Gracie Belle imprint—about the fathomless loss of a beloved child reveals how tragedy can transform us and make us more fully alive.

Forthcoming: 11/6/18

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What people are saying…

“Powerful! More than an intimate and heartbreaking story of parenting a child with leukemia, Now You See the Sky is a lesson in accepting the raw uncertainties of life. Murray gives the reader the gift of her hard-won fortitude and compassion to carry as our own.”
—Melissa Coleman, New York Times best-selling author of This Life Is in Your Hands

Now You See the Sky is singular—as wise, beautiful, and elegiac as it is specific and in-the-moment. It’s a rare memoir in that it gives the impression that time can be stopped. There are images in here, gestures of love, and its hard conversations, that a a reader will remember forever.”
—Rick Bass, author of For a Little While

Now You See the Sky might be set in Thailand, but even after only a few pages this gorgeous debut memoir is located firmly in the reader’s heart. I thank and applaud Catharine H. Murray for the openness, honesty, and beauty with which she tells this ungilded story of a mother’s love for a dying child. An essential recommendation for those living with loss.”
—Suzanne Strempek Shea, author of This Is Paradise

“Catharine H. Murray’s Now You See the Sky is a deeply powerful, brave story about the kind of loss no parent ever wants to imagine. Set in an Eastern culture that embraces and honors that unimaginable loss, this stunning book will open the eyes and hearts of its readers to a different and soul-sustaining way of coping with the death of a beloved child.”
—Marianne Leone, author of Jesse: A Mother’s Story


Now You See the Sky is a memoir about love, marriage, motherhood, illness, and death. After college, Catharine H. Murray travels to a small town on the banks of the Mekong River in Thailand to work in a refugee camp and learn about life. There she gradually outgrows the shell of her American worldview, as her interior world begins to attune to this new one that moves with a slower rhythm and deeper calm than she ever imagined. Within a year, she falls in love with a local man and, two years later, marries him. Together, they have three sons.

When their middle song is diagnosed with cancer at age five, the family moves from rural Thailand, to Seattle, to Bangkok, before they settle on a remote mountaintop to battle the disease as the child slips into a decline. Full of wisdom and honesty, Now You See the Sky allows the reader to witness the fathomless loss of a beloved child and learn how tragedy can transform us, expand our vision, and make us more fully alive.

Now You See the Sky is the debut selection of Ann Hood’s new nonfiction imprint with Akashic, Gracie Belle. Modeled after her experience writing the best-selling memoir Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, and named after her daughter, Grace, Hood’s imprint reaffirms for authors and readers that none of us are alone in our journeys.

Read a feature on the launch of the Gracie Belle imprint at Publishers Weekly.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Published: 11/6/18
  • IBSN: 9781617756665
  • e-IBSN: 9781617756719
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617756818


CATHARINE H. MURRAY lives with her two sons in Portland, Maine, where she teaches English to refugees. She has led workshops on grief writing and has read at Harvard University, Maine Medical Center, Maine State Prison, University of New England, and the Hayes Library in Bangkok. Her previous books include Halloween: Portraits of Fantasy and Fear and Mothering Through, a book of poems. Her latest work is the memoir Now You See the Sky.

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