Friday, April 15, 2011

TLC Book Tours Book Review: A Long Goodbye

The Long Goodbye: A memoir
Author: Meghan O'Rourke
Title: A Long Goodbye
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publish Date: April 14, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours and the publisher
Book Blurb: What does it mean to mourn today, in a culture that has largely set aside rituals that acknowledge grief? After her mother died of cancer at the age of fifty-five, Meghan O’Rourke found that nothing had prepared her for the intensity of her sorrow. In the first anguished days, she began to create a record of her interior life as a mourner, trying to capture the paradox of grief-its monumental agony and microscopic intimacies-an endeavor that ultimately bloomed into a profound look at how caring for her mother during her illness changed and strengthened their bond.

O’Rourke’s story is one of a life gone off the rails, of how watching her mother’s illness-and separating from her husband-left her fundamentally altered. But it is also one of resilience, as she observes her family persevere even in the face of immeasurable loss.

With lyricism and unswerving candor, The Long Goodbye conveys the fleeting moments of joy that make up a life, and the way memory can lead us out of the jagged darkness of loss. Effortlessly blending research and reflection, the personal and the universal, it is not only an exceptional memoir, but a necessary one.

Review: It is difficult not to be moved by Meghan O'Rourke's memoir, especially if you have felt the loss of a loved one. She writes eloquently of her feelings and struggles first with her mother's cancer and then her grief at her death.

She spent a lot of time researching grief to write this. She uses quotes from the many books she read about the subject after her mother's passing. Much of what she went through reminded me of my feelings after my grandmother passed away on April 26, 2008. That is a date that will be forever burned on my brain. Meghan's mother was 55 and my grandmother was 101. I can tell you that I felt grief with the same intensity.

Grief and mourning are things that most people want to try to forget about it, only if you are the person feeling the loss, you can't. Grief can be debilitating.

My heart reached out to Meghan as I read her story, though there were times when I wanted to shake her. She married shortly after her mother was diagnosed with cancer and that marriage lasted only 8 months. I wanted to scream at her then. I wished her mother had the strength to have done so then. But life is about mistakes and dealing with them.

This book is not for everyone. It is definitely a downer. But that doesn't change how beautiful it is. If you are a person that has experienced a huge loss, this book will help put things in perspective. I know that even though it is nearly 3 years since my gram passed, reading this made me feel better. It made the way I felt after her death seem right, that I wasn't crazy. Thank you, Meghan for sharing your story with me.

Rating: 5 flowers

Next stop on the tour: Reviews From The Heart


LisaMM said...

I'm glad you found the book beautiful, even with the sad subject matter. Thanks so much for being on the tour!

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