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The reissue of Elizabeth Nunez’s moving exploration into trust, family, redemption, and love.

$17.95 $13.46

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“Extremely deserving of its title, this gorgeous, meditative book is a graceful rendering of one couple’s journeys and explorations toward and away from each other. A moving love story, it shows us how a deferred dream can erode a marriage and how grace can sometimes put us to the test, even as it redeems.”
Edwidge Danticat, author of Claire of the Sea Light

“Highly recommended . . . a deeply felt and compassionate novel. Wise and resonant, it will strike a chord with readers.”
Library Journal

“Nunez is able to write the interior monologue of a changing mind, to show grace at work in the human heart.”
Book Street USA

“An exquisite love story . . . Once again, accomplished author Elizabeth Nunez lends readers her remarkable voice in this masterfully crafted story.”
New American

“Grace speaks to our propensity for self-delusion that cripples our relationship with ourselves and with those we profess to care deeply about.”
Black Issues Book Review


Justin and Sally Peters, both passionate educators—Justin, a hardened, Harvard-educated professor of British and classic literature at a small public Brooklyn college, and Sally, a gentle and spirited elementary school teacher teaching her students that happiness and joy require strength and perseverance—have had a calm and loving marriage, graciously enlivened by their curious four-year-old daughter, Giselle.

Suddenly Sally, coming from a wrought past punctured with loss, begins to pull away from the man in whom she originally found comfort and safety. When Giselle starts asking him if Mommy is okay, Justin worries that Sally is on the verge of leaving him. Is she harboring feelings for a lost lover or, Justin wonders, was she ever really meant to be his wife? As Sally retreats deeper and deeper into herself, Justin wonders if her past has really come to claim her once and for all.

While Justin reads Hamlet to his students, he tries to find answers in the literature that became his profession. There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow, Hamlet concludes. Let be. Does Shakespeare know how to keep Sally from leaving? Should Justin do nothing and wait for Sally to right herself? How deep can he read before he knows how to keep his family together?

As deep snow falls in Brooklyn, Justin and Sally’s relationship is put to the test. What once was a warm and cozy marriage bed becomes as cold as the encroaching winter frost. Kept in orbit by their curious daughter, Giselle, the couple must decide if staying together is in everyone’s best interest.

Elizabeth Nunez’s classic fifth novel follows Justin and Sally through the harrowing trials of love and family and offers a remarkably tender introspection into the aching and sometimes harsh downturns of a modern-age love story.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Published: 10/18/16
  • IBSN: 9781617755439
  • e-IBSN: 9781617755446
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617755484


ELIZABETH NUNEZ immigrated to the US from Trinidad after high school. She is the author of ten novels and the coeditor of the anthology Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Women Writers at Home and Abroad. Nunez received her PhD in English from New York University and is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, where she teaches creative writing.

Nunez is cofounder of the National Black Writers Conference and was executive producer for the 2004 Emmy-nominated CUNY TV series, Black Writers in America. Her awards include the 2013 National Council for Research on Women Outstanding Trailblazer Award, the 2013 Caribbean American Distinguished Writer Award, the 2012 Trinidad and Tobago Lifetime Literary Award, and more.

Nunez’s works have been nominated for numerous awards, including the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award, the 2012 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Fiction, an International Dublin Literary Award, the Trinidad and Tobago One Book, One Community selection, New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, Novel of the Year for Black Issues Book Review, an American Book Award, the Independent Publishers Book Award, and several others. Her titles have also received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. Her novels Anna In-Between, Even in Paradise, Boundaries, Prospero’s Daughter, Grace, Discretion, and her memoir Not for Everyday Use are published by Akashic Books. Now Lila Knows is her latest novel.

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