Grand : Becoming My Mother's Daughter / Noelle McCarthy

Write a Review








'A really vivacious account of frayed family relationships across decades and around the world' Financial Times Podcast

Quick-witted, charismatic and generous; angry, vicious and hurt; in pubs all over Cork City, Noelle McCarthy's mother Carol rages against her life and everything she has lost. Soon after leaving college, in the early years of the millennium, Noelle flees. Even on the other side of the world, with fame and success within her grasp, Noelle cannot escape an appetite for self-destruction.

Life spirals out of control until she too is in danger of losing everything. At thirty, she pulls back from the brink. Over a decade later, Carol is dying.

Finally, it seems, mother and daughter will make peace. Except Carol has no interest in admitting her own mortality - she will die as she lived, entirely on her own terms. If there is any reckoning to be done between past and present, Noelle will be doing it on her own.

Grand is the deeply moving and surprisingly funny outcome of Noelle's yearning to understand her mother, and to make sense of their lives, together and apart. Most of all, it is a dazzlingly honest memoir about becoming a modern woman.


2023 Non-Fiction Winner at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

'Hooked me like a fish' New York Times

'I loved it! Stunningly told and every gorgeous word will haunt you' Tara Flynn

'Desperately funny, hysterically sad, so beautiful and so humane. All of life is in it' Meg Mason

'Compellingly readable' Hilary Fannin