How A Bold Move Leads New Yorker to ‘Find Grace’

(DGIwire) Once in a while a book comes along that compellingly decodes the cost of learning what matters in life. Alison Rand’s new memoir, A Place Called Grace, is such a book.

Friends and family told the author that her plan–moving to another country alone–was crazy.  She was, however, undeterred.  As she explains, “It was 1995 and I recently celebrated my 38th birthday when I moved to Italy.

I was frankly terrified, since I was moving to another country alone. But on a more meaningful level I was more afraid of the inertia and sadness in my life and acting career up to that point. The acting career I had envisioned for myself had not materialized.  My marriage had ended in a difficult divorce, and the man I had been seeing for some time decided he did not want children (I did) so, despondently, I broke up with him.

Still, why I would want to move to Rome–or move to any other country where I knew no one and didn’t even speak the language. Why would I leave my perfectly good life here in NY?   I believed a fresh start in a remarkable country like Italy–the food, the wine, the scenery, the MEN—would lift not only my spirits but perhaps give me the feeling I was lacking in NY: a sense of belonging.”

The author told herself she might just stay in Rome for three months.  Her ideal scenario:  get great parts as an actress, meet a hunky Italian, and have his baby.  As she was learning the language, getting comfortable with her new surroundings, and waiting for her new talent agent to contact her for auditions, Alison her first ‘Italian hunk.”  He was the first of several short-lived romances, all of which I have candidly detailed in A Place Called Grace.

Shutting down her life in New York and setting up the foundation of a possible new life in Italy was not anything like the “she got a man” ending in the book and movie Eat, Pray Love, or Diane Lane’s similar happy ending in Under the Tuscan Sun.  After three years in Italy– moving six different times, dating more than seven different men, along with too few acting auditions, let alone actual gigs–and a terrifying accident to boot –she returned home. That’s when she found Grace.   As Alison notes,”Bottom line, “non rimpiango niente,” I regret nothing.  My return to this country was not in any way a defeat, as living abroad was a great experience and it led me to a new life.”

Her book is on Amazon in soft-cover and formatted for Kindle and all other electronic readers.  Alison Rand’s website is