Our Grand Finale
A Daughter's Memoir
by Laraine Denny Burrell
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Pub Date 17 Oct 2017 | Archive Date 19 Oct 2017
Wanting to do something significant for her father to make up for her neglect, Burrell reflects on the fascinating life her father, a Royal Yachtsman, led—and decides that the one thing she can do for him is to tell his exceptional life story and make sure he is not forgotten. Our Grand Finale is the culmination of that effort—an exploration of both the author’s and her father’s unusual life experiences, and a reminder that “later” doesn’t always come.
"Burrell has enough vivid material for several books here: a lonely childhood, an exotic career, a difficult motherhood, and belated feelings of familial love and guilt. A curious and complex life story.”—Kirkus
"A raw and honest read about finding positivity in a time of grief, if this book isn’t next in your reading pile—it should be!"
"Sometimes it takes losing someone we love to fully claim the love that was always there. In Our Grand Finale, Burrell thoughtfully honors the inner geography of family love."
—Cheryl Rice, author of Where Have I Been All My Life?
"It often takes a significant loss in our lives to wake us up to what truly matters. This memoir starts with a daughter’s experience of her father’s death and moves into an exploration of her own past as well as his. It weaves the story of both a precocious young child and of a father she loves but really doesn’t know. Burrell discovers, when going through her father’s treasured possessions, a greater understanding of her family and causes her to reflect on her own journey to adulthood. And what a trip it is."
—Rita Gardner, author of Coconut Latitudes
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 2 members
This account of a strong woman who grows from a young girl to a young woman into a grown, successful and almost satisfied and fulfilled adult is very endearing. It is a very raw and truthful account of the times in which she grew up and how perseverance played a key role in one's success. A story of a young woman who wasn't necessarily a victim of poor circumstances, but chose a path in life to free herself to live life through the eyes of her father, even if she didn't know it at the time. Although she may not have chosen the best path at times, and every decision may not have been the best for the situation, I couldn't help but admire her spunk and charm. I did feel that the father and daughter connection during her childhood years deserved more attention and merit, as the book was a little confusing at first, painting the father in a little of a negative light. Of course, I understand, that was times of "spare the rod, spoil the child" that aren't tolerated in today's world (unfortunately). I enjoyed reading her growth and seeing her rise up after falling and pushing herself to excel even further. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants a good walk in the past and/or to learn more about the life of a traveling dancer/free-spirited soul.