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All Things Consoled: A Daughter's Memoir

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Elizabeth Hay, one of Canada's most beloved novelists has written a poignant, complex, and hugely resonant memoir about the shift she experienced between being her parents' daughter to their guardian and caregiver. As the daughter takes charge, and the writer takes notes, her mother and father are like two legendary icebergs floating south. They melt into the ocean of parti Elizabeth Hay, one of Canada's most beloved novelists has written a poignant, complex, and hugely resonant memoir about the shift she experienced between being her parents' daughter to their guardian and caregiver. As the daughter takes charge, and the writer takes notes, her mother and father are like two legendary icebergs floating south. They melt into the ocean of partial, painful, inconsistent, and funny stories that a family makes over time. Hay's eloquent memoir distills these stories into basic truths about parents and children and their efforts of understanding. With her uncommon sharpness and wit, Elizabeth Hay offers her insights into the peculiarities of her family's dynamics--her parents' marriage, sibling rivalries, miscommunications that spur decades of resentment all matched by true and genuine love and devotion. Her parents are each startling characters in their own right--her mother is a true skinflint who would rather serve up wormy soup (twice) than throw away an ancient packet of "perfectly good" mix; her father is a proud and well-mannered man with a temper that can be explosive. All Things Consoled is a startlingly beautiful memoir that addresses the exquisite agony of family, the unstoppable force of dementia, and the inevitability of aging.


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Elizabeth Hay, one of Canada's most beloved novelists has written a poignant, complex, and hugely resonant memoir about the shift she experienced between being her parents' daughter to their guardian and caregiver. As the daughter takes charge, and the writer takes notes, her mother and father are like two legendary icebergs floating south. They melt into the ocean of parti Elizabeth Hay, one of Canada's most beloved novelists has written a poignant, complex, and hugely resonant memoir about the shift she experienced between being her parents' daughter to their guardian and caregiver. As the daughter takes charge, and the writer takes notes, her mother and father are like two legendary icebergs floating south. They melt into the ocean of partial, painful, inconsistent, and funny stories that a family makes over time. Hay's eloquent memoir distills these stories into basic truths about parents and children and their efforts of understanding. With her uncommon sharpness and wit, Elizabeth Hay offers her insights into the peculiarities of her family's dynamics--her parents' marriage, sibling rivalries, miscommunications that spur decades of resentment all matched by true and genuine love and devotion. Her parents are each startling characters in their own right--her mother is a true skinflint who would rather serve up wormy soup (twice) than throw away an ancient packet of "perfectly good" mix; her father is a proud and well-mannered man with a temper that can be explosive. All Things Consoled is a startlingly beautiful memoir that addresses the exquisite agony of family, the unstoppable force of dementia, and the inevitability of aging.

30 review for All Things Consoled: A Daughter's Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Beautiful- truthful -heartfelt - memoir about Elizabeth's aging parents... .....Elizabeth's brimful relationship - (at times) - her parents illness -dementia - retirement home & financial realties....and ultimately love... The last chapters were especially moving!!! Beautiful- truthful -heartfelt - memoir about Elizabeth's aging parents... .....Elizabeth's brimful relationship - (at times) - her parents illness -dementia - retirement home & financial realties....and ultimately love... The last chapters were especially moving!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Canadian Reader

    “acts of love are never uncomplicated” Acclaimed Canadian novelist, Elizabeth Hay has produced a beautifully written and affecting memoir about her parents’ last years. In 2008 when Hay’s narrative opens, the frail couple are in their late eighties and living in London, Ontario, a mid-sized city in the southwest of the province, some seven hours’ drive from the author’s Ottawa home. Gordon, Elizabeth’s father, had been an ambitious secondary school teacher of history and then a high-school pr “acts of love are never uncomplicated” Acclaimed Canadian novelist, Elizabeth Hay has produced a beautifully written and affecting memoir about her parents’ last years. In 2008 when Hay’s narrative opens, the frail couple are in their late eighties and living in London, Ontario, a mid-sized city in the southwest of the province, some seven hours’ drive from the author’s Ottawa home. Gordon, Elizabeth’s father, had been an ambitious secondary school teacher of history and then a high-school principal. He had worked hard to advance his career, ultimately becoming a professor of education at the local university. A frightening, gloomy figure, volcanic in temperament, he would erupt with fury when disobeyed, once throwing his young son hard enough across the dining room for the boy to require stitches. (He would later feel deeply ashamed by his loss of control, but sadly incapable of apology.) Jean Stevenson Hay, Elizabeth’s mother, was born in the Ottawa Valley in 1919 (the same year as her husband), and had apparently trained as a nurse before marrying and bearing four children—Elizabeth being the third. Jean ultimately turned to art, making adventurous journeys (in her sixties) to Canada’s far north in order to explore and sketch the terrain of Ellesmere Island alongside scientists. (This was a time when grants were available for artists to travel to the Canadian Arctic.) Throughout her married life, Jean worked steadily to counterbalance her husband’s dark energy, attempting to bring light into the home. Having a painter’s studio built just off the side of their house when she was 65 no doubt allowed her the physical space for her creativity to flourish and her psychological health to be preserved. By the end of January 2009, after her mother had undergone two knee surgeries due to a streptococcal lung infection that had spread through the blood, Hay had arranged for Gordon and Jean to live at a retirement home in Ottawa, just a short walk from her house. The move would allow Elizabeth to visit them daily and tend to their needs. Hay documents the physical and cognitive decline of both parents as well as many painful memories from the past. (A particularly sad anecdote concerns Hay’s father’s failure to acknowledge his daughter’s literary achievements. When it came time to winnow down his personal library before vacating the London house, Gordon left behind his daughter’s seven novels, personally inscribed to her parents.) Growing up (and even in adulthood), Hay’s relationship with both parents was fraught. All three of them were touchy, defensive, easily set off. Hay feared and even hated her disapproving and fury-prone father, and she harboured anger towards her mother, who had been so committed to keeping the peace that she did not defend or protect her daughter. Hay is frank about her motivation for taking on the care of her parents as they neared their end: it was due to a kind of competitiveness, a desire to be loved the best of the four children. This memoir makes clear that old age can be terrifying, gruelling, and heartbreaking—not just for those who endure the ravages directly, the elderly themselves, but for the family members who are there for the duration. In their final years and months, Hay’s parents often expressed the wish that it could all just end quickly—with the help of a pill. In spite of all that is so difficult as loved ones’ lives wind down, there can be moments of beauty and love. There can be opportunities to better understand family members and to appreciate the essential vulnerability of all—even those who have frightened us. Hay writes about some of these moments and about how she came to understand just how deeply her parents’ lives had been woven together. Hay’s father died in 2011; her mother in 2012. A small photograph of the two together provides a touching and humble conclusion to an interesting and moving narrative.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    I was in dangerous personal territory, in fraught border country in which my parents were sliding into neediness and I was rising in power, yet losing my own life. All Things Consoled is esteemed Canadian novelist Elizabeth Hay's account of taking on the role as her parents' primary family contact as they reached their final years. Complicating this always demanding function is the difficult relationship that Hay had with her parents, and as she recounts incidents from throughout her life to I was in dangerous personal territory, in fraught border country in which my parents were sliding into neediness and I was rising in power, yet losing my own life. All Things Consoled is esteemed Canadian novelist Elizabeth Hay's account of taking on the role as her parents' primary family contact as they reached their final years. Complicating this always demanding function is the difficult relationship that Hay had with her parents, and as she recounts incidents from throughout her life to illustrate lingering resentments or character quirks, Hay deftly assembles a work that serves as a moving memoir of herself and her family. On the one hand, Hay does a nice job of capturing the challenges of the lingering end-of-life years (in which both of her suffering parents wished for “the Dutch passport”), and on the other, I was glad to see that she had enough time with both of them to come to a place of peace and forgiveness. With Hay's thoughtful and polished prose, this was a satisfying read; a fascinating and fitting tribute to complex people. At the lake, inside the dark cabin that was steeped in my parents' lives, I felt permeated by their presence even though they were absent. That a peaceful place should be so full of tension, that their influence should be so potent, that I could not prevent myself from taking on certain of their characteristics and that these same characteristics expanded inside me until I was bloated with impatience, hard with gassy vile severity. Hay's father, Gordon, was an educator – he went from teacher to principal to professor over his career – and despite having been raised a peace-loving Quaker, he had a hair-trigger and could snap violently with both his students and his own children. Hay's mother, Jean, was a penny-pinching homemaker (not above serving moldy or wormy food) who discovered painting in middle age, and who always took her husband's side over her children. Not only did Elizabeth resent that her mother refused to see how much her father's constant teasing and painful finger jabs bothered her (“He's only ribbing you, lighten up”), but Jean could never see how her own (often unvoiced but suspected) criticism burdened her daughter; Hay did a wonderful job of illustrating the lifelong family dynamics that were looming over this relationship as she finally convinced her parents to leave the family home and move into care a six minute walk from her own house in another city. How hurtful must it have been for Elizabeth to discover that among the possessions that her parents left behind for disposal were her own seven novels, all personally inscribed to the parents who never once told her they were proud of her? (When a friend once asked Hay's father if he was proud of what his daughter has accomplished, he testily responded, “Well, is she proud of me?” Her mother buried one of her novels in the yard "out of shame".) The issue that finally forced the relocation was Hay's mother's descent into dementia (and at the same time, her father's physical inability to deal with his wife's declining mental and physical states). As a lover of words and phrasing, Hay delighted in and collected her mother's increasingly peculiar ways of expressing herself, concluding, “Her turns of phrase rather confirmed my view that poetry issues from the holes in our heads, that whatever faculty produces the startling contractions and coinages and leaps in logic that we call poetry is also available at an unconscious and uncontrollable level to someone suffering from dementia.” Now, as my own mother-in-law has Alzheimer's without ever once coming out with a poetic construction, perhaps Jean's words came from the same creative spring as her painting talent rather than pointing to something universal as Hay suggests, but it was this mental quirk that led to the book's title: I got her to sit on the chesterfield and sat down beside her and put my arms around her again, and she was like an ancient child weeping – lost and weeping. “Where am I?” I told her where she was. “Where did you think you were?” “Oh, I'm in many places. Where I am keeps changing.” We walked to the elevator and she said, “I've got some of my wits. But not all.” And then there was the day she said, “I've had a good life, all things consoled.” Hay is honest about her own bitterness and the longheld resentments that she refused to let go of, and she doesn't whitewash how taxing these final years with her parents nearby were for her. As her three siblings all lived far away, convincing her parents to move to Ottawa did invite the burden squarely onto her own shoulders, but as Hay writes, “Yes, I volunteered to take it on, but there was never a moment when I didn't wish to be let off the hook.” (And that's something important for me to remember as my kind-hearted sister-in-law has taken on the care of her parents – including the Mom with Alzheimer's – within a shared home.) Yet still, there was an opportunity for a melting of the icewaters: Hay eventually discovered that just starting off a visit with a kiss to her father's bald head was enough to soften him, as though all he ever wanted was forgiveness for his failings. Even so, as Gordon lay dying and Hay's brother leaned in to assure him that the kids would take good care of Mom when he was gone, their father roared back to life with, “But what about me?” Ultimately, because of their time together in those last years, Hay developed a stronger relationship with each of her parents and grew to appreciate what they meant to each other: Will I go to my grave thinking my mother should have married another man? Someone more attuned to the creative life, who could have cooked for himself and put in his own eye drops? Who didn't fly off the handle at the drop of a hat? Not anymore. Not after seeing how woven into each other, body and soul, the two of them were. What must have been a therapeutic experience for Elizabeth Hay to write makes for an engaging and enlightening read; I am enlarged by having read her story.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Forsyth

    Emotionally devastating. Elizabeth Hay writes with unflinching honesty and lyrical beauty. This book feels like a gift.

  5. 4 out of 5

    E

    Heart-breaking, personal, authentic, raw-not an "Alzheimer's book" or how to guide-a story of one family- yet a story of every family. Will make you think differently about parenting our parents and how you might handle being parented by your children in the future-or making choices not to be......very real and timely conversation-starter for our generation. People are living so much longer than in our grandparent's generation-changes the playing field. In my mother's fairly small home there are Heart-breaking, personal, authentic, raw-not an "Alzheimer's book" or how to guide-a story of one family- yet a story of every family. Will make you think differently about parenting our parents and how you might handle being parented by your children in the future-or making choices not to be......very real and timely conversation-starter for our generation. People are living so much longer than in our grandparent's generation-changes the playing field. In my mother's fairly small home there are 7 residents over 100.... And the writing is beautiful-the kind that flows and paints gorgeous pictures.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lori Bamber

    What a remarkable book! Elizabeth Hay is a brilliant, beautiful, effective writer. Here she takes on the most difficult subject of all: the adult child and her parents in decline. Agonizing. So honest it is sometimes off-putting, freeing us all from the constraints imposed by presenting only our polite and polished selves, the one that is too sweet to be really human. If I was a Pulitzer judge, this would get my vote. It has the potential to change the way we see families and ourselves. And whil What a remarkable book! Elizabeth Hay is a brilliant, beautiful, effective writer. Here she takes on the most difficult subject of all: the adult child and her parents in decline. Agonizing. So honest it is sometimes off-putting, freeing us all from the constraints imposed by presenting only our polite and polished selves, the one that is too sweet to be really human. If I was a Pulitzer judge, this would get my vote. It has the potential to change the way we see families and ourselves. And while it can be harsh to read, the end result is kind: we are all broken, stumbling toward happiness, loving as much as we can in our broken way.

  7. 5 out of 5

    JenniferD

    so good! elizabeth hay tells a difficult story with grace. while this memoir will be relatable for anyone with aging parents and grandparents who are dealing with declining bodies and minds, hay also includes some wonderful insights and observations around end of life care, family dynamics, and family history.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    “Ancient Romans used to distinguish between senectus (still lively) and decrepitus (done for)” (from Akin by Emma Donoghue). In this memoir about her relationship with her parents, specifically about their last few years, Hay speaks plainly of her belief that they lived too long, a sentiment they would also have echoed. Their final years were marked by illness, depression and her mother’s dementia; it was all so difficult, and expensive. Gordon and Jean Hay stumbled into their early nineties in “Ancient Romans used to distinguish between senectus (still lively) and decrepitus (done for)” (from Akin by Emma Donoghue). In this memoir about her relationship with her parents, specifically about their last few years, Hay speaks plainly of her belief that they lived too long, a sentiment they would also have echoed. Their final years were marked by illness, depression and her mother’s dementia; it was all so difficult, and expensive. Gordon and Jean Hay stumbled into their early nineties in an Ottawa retirement home they’d moved into in early 2009 so they could be just down the road from their daughter, after 40 years living in London, Ontario. The last straw had been her mother’s knee surgery and infection, after which her mind was never the same and she couldn’t return to her painting. Elizabeth Hay is one of four children, but caregiving fell to her for one reason and another, and it was bound to be a fraught task because of her parents’ prickly personalities. Her mother could be cheerful, but also had a history of being critical – and thrifty to the point of absurdity: cooking a soup mix though it had worms in it, spooning thick mold off apple sauce and serving it, needling Elizabeth for dumping perfectly good chicken juice a year ago. Her father, meanwhile, had a terrible temper and a history of corporal punishment of his children and of his students when he was a school principal. When they packed for the move to Ottawa, he didn’t take his own daughter’s novels. Now that just seems like spite. There are many such harsh moments in this memoir, but almost as many wry ones, with Hay picking just the right anecdotes to illustrate her parents’ behavior and the shifting family dynamic. There’s a lemon meringue pie that’s particularly memorable towards the book’s end. And Hay never looks away, no matter how hard it all gets. Her father’s rage against the dying of the light (“What about me? ... Nincompoop! I’m going to live! And the rest of you are going to hell!”) contrasts with her mother’s fade into confusion – which was lightened by the surprisingly poetic turns of phrase she came out with despite her aphasia. The title phrase, for instance, was her attempt at “all things considered.” I wholeheartedly recommend this to readers of Hay’s novels, but anyone can appreciate the picture of complicated love and grief.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laurie • The Baking Bookworm

    3.5 STARS - This was the first time I had read a book by Canadian author Elizabeth Hay. In All Things Consoled, she writes about her complicated relationship with her parents growing up as well as the changing dynamic between herself and her parents as they aged. Hay's writing is frank, especially when she discusses her turbulent childhood and the complicated relationship she had with her parents. Through the ups and downs, her love for her parents is the focus of the book and there are some emo 3.5 STARS - This was the first time I had read a book by Canadian author Elizabeth Hay. In All Things Consoled, she writes about her complicated relationship with her parents growing up as well as the changing dynamic between herself and her parents as they aged. Hay's writing is frank, especially when she discusses her turbulent childhood and the complicated relationship she had with her parents. Through the ups and downs, her love for her parents is the focus of the book and there are some emotional scenes. There were some issues which were hard to read, and others were emotional so readers who can relate to dealing with aging parents may want to keep the Kleenex handy. I couldn't relate as much to Hay's experiences and that may have influenced my feelings for the book. The vast majority of reviewers have raved about this book and while I feel odd rating someone's life experiences, I didn't feel as connected to the book as I had hoped. Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to the publisher for my complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ❀ Susan G

    A tale of consolation, love and coming to terms with the messiness of family as the author cares for her parents as they age. Tissues are needed as Hay's says good bye to her parents and reflects on lifetimes of moments as their relationship changed as they aged and declined.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Friederike Knabe

    Very moving, thought provoking, gentle, beautifully written. A full review is in process.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I am a huge Elizabeth Hay fan (well, she's had some real winners and others that I am so-so on), so I really enjoyed reading her memoir. She details her life growing mostly in terms of her relationships with her parents and how it shaped her-what did they expect, were they proud, how did they get along... And a little bit on how her brothers and sisters fared with the same parents, eg why not as combative, or why 1 kid picked on more than others, or is that how all of them remember it, etc. I ju I am a huge Elizabeth Hay fan (well, she's had some real winners and others that I am so-so on), so I really enjoyed reading her memoir. She details her life growing mostly in terms of her relationships with her parents and how it shaped her-what did they expect, were they proud, how did they get along... And a little bit on how her brothers and sisters fared with the same parents, eg why not as combative, or why 1 kid picked on more than others, or is that how all of them remember it, etc. I just thought it was very very interesting. Hay is much older than I think I had imagined in my head, which surprised me because I almost always read up on the authors that I like. Altogether, joyful to read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    As we've just moved my 91-year old mother into assisted living, this sweet, sad book deeply resonated with me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karan

    Acutely observed, terribly honest.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Penny (Literary Hoarders)

    Told with her signature grace and eloquence, this was a lovely memoir to read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Elizabeth Hay certainly doesn’t pull any punches as she tells her story of how she looked after her parents in the final years of their lives. She takes us through their steady (and occasionally sudden) decline, and describes exactly what it’s like for an adult child caregiver to be in charge of their elderly parents’ health as they inch towards the end of the lives. She obviously loves her parents and shows great compassion, but she is truthful about her frustration and guilt in dealing with a s Elizabeth Hay certainly doesn’t pull any punches as she tells her story of how she looked after her parents in the final years of their lives. She takes us through their steady (and occasionally sudden) decline, and describes exactly what it’s like for an adult child caregiver to be in charge of their elderly parents’ health as they inch towards the end of the lives. She obviously loves her parents and shows great compassion, but she is truthful about her frustration and guilt in dealing with a situation she hadn’t envisioned and how her parents’ care impacted on her life. She is also brutally honest about her family’s history, particularly her father’s abusive past with his children and wife. I don’t know if I would be willing to bare all to the extent that she has. I appreciate her honesty and courage to tell us the whole story, and not just the pleasant parts.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Bank

    I heard on an interview and knew I had to read this- currently going through a similar situation of caregiving - so beautifully written - raw and honest

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This is not an easy read if you have recently lost a parent or have an infirm or terminally ill parent. If I had known the subject matter, I would not have ready it, but perhaps it was what I needed just now. Because I have recently lost my Dad, I found this a hard go in places, however, the writing style is not sentimental and I found it comforting regarding the shared experience of bearing witness at the end of a parents life. The realization that our parents are flawed people who many or many This is not an easy read if you have recently lost a parent or have an infirm or terminally ill parent. If I had known the subject matter, I would not have ready it, but perhaps it was what I needed just now. Because I have recently lost my Dad, I found this a hard go in places, however, the writing style is not sentimental and I found it comforting regarding the shared experience of bearing witness at the end of a parents life. The realization that our parents are flawed people who many or many not have tried their best to be good parents can be a shocking one. Why did they do what they did? The author does not shy away from difficult, sometimes bizarre happenings from her childhood and adulthood. The relationship between parent and child/adult child is complex and multilayered. We carry certain pivotal events with us and these shape the way we interact with our parents when we are adults. How do we forgive them and offer them unconditional love as they age and the balance shifts to us caring for them, them increasingly relying on us? How do we maintain compassion even as we wrestle with hurts from our deep past? We can choose to parent in a different way, mindful of how our parents affected our emotional wellbeing when we were small. All these issues are raised in this memoir that follows the last few years of both of her parents lives, but also dips back into the past to illuminate vivid memories of her parents personalities and relationships. A thought provoking read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gabriele Goldstone

    Very much enjoyed this. Reading it was like dinner with a good friend, discussing the many layers of parent-care and family relationships. My parents are now both deceased and I miss them. But I'm in my sixties and feel a new freedom with this orphan-stage of life while some of my friends of mine are wrapped up in complicated care-giving relationships. I especially loved the ending and the dilemma of the lemon meringue pie. I'm happy that it worked out so well in the end. Not sure my mom could h Very much enjoyed this. Reading it was like dinner with a good friend, discussing the many layers of parent-care and family relationships. My parents are now both deceased and I miss them. But I'm in my sixties and feel a new freedom with this orphan-stage of life while some of my friends of mine are wrapped up in complicated care-giving relationships. I especially loved the ending and the dilemma of the lemon meringue pie. I'm happy that it worked out so well in the end. Not sure my mom could have handled any of my perfect pies, but maybe I'm underestimating her. Recommended memoir for anyone dealing with aging parents. Someday it might be us. I'd be honoured if one of my daughters was as kind and thoughtful as Elizabeth Hay.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    A memoir about caring for aging parents until their death. The book is structured as a season of essays. It's thoughtful and well thought out, and Hay doesn't sugarcoat the ugliness of old age or her parents' lives. Her father was sometimes rather abusive and hard. I found this book very easy to relate to, even though my parents are still in good health. Hay is talking about a basic human experience- caring for aging parents, and I don't think I've read many memoirs about that. Recommended.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bridgette Bi

    A tenderly honest memoir about Hay's experience caring for her aging parents. Hay masterfully combines nostalgia, melancholy and a refreshing dose of humour, so that the pages become a reflective surface and we can't help but recognize someone we know in Jean and Gord's stories. A hugely resonant daughter's memoir that was richly deserving of the prestigious Hilary Weston Writers Trust award that it won and the nominations that it earned.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sue Bolton

    This book really resonated with me for many reasons. I lost my Mother in September, a day before this book hit the shelves. I watched her waste away in much the same way as described in this book. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to endure in my 58 years on this planet. My Mother lived in London, On. I live in Kingston, On, not far from Ottawa. The similarities really hit home. I had such a flood of emotions and allowed the tears to flow. I have 22 years experience working in Long This book really resonated with me for many reasons. I lost my Mother in September, a day before this book hit the shelves. I watched her waste away in much the same way as described in this book. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to endure in my 58 years on this planet. My Mother lived in London, On. I live in Kingston, On, not far from Ottawa. The similarities really hit home. I had such a flood of emotions and allowed the tears to flow. I have 22 years experience working in Long Term Care and, while everyone's experience is unique, have seen many, many people endure similar circumstances. It's different when it is your own parent. This book certainly brings out just about every emotion imaginable, or so it did for me.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Desiree

    Hit close to home as I am also the primary caregiver for my parents. I could relate to the author's struggles and range of emotions in the day to day dealings with aging parents.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elsabe

    My friend recommended it and I am thankful for that insight it provides.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Book number 42 for the year, and the best read. So moving and thought-provoking. Loved it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    What a wonderful gift from Elizabeth Hay. Profound.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laurie W

    Hay perceives and writes so well. I’m not sure about the entertainment value of this non-fiction book about the diminishment and death of her aging parents but for someone like me who is going through it, it was affirming and resonant and comforting. The relationship between adult children and their parents is very complicated!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Beautifully written with love and compassion. My full review at: https://thelastpageturnedbookblog.blo... Beautifully written with love and compassion. My full review at: https://thelastpageturnedbookblog.blo...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nan

    I listened to this book, read by the author. I was often mesmerized by her use of language and turn of phrase. This book pulled at my heartstrings. Highly recommend, especially to those of a certain age who are going through or have already experienced the inevitable aging of parents.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Kim

    4.5 stars This is not an easy read in regards to the subject matter but wonderful read for those like me with aging parents. It is auto-biographic about the author, her siblings and her parents in their late stage in life. It beautifully captures her parents not just as parents of three kids, but as individuals, human beings with flaws and insecurities and admirable qualities. Touching, insightful, and relatable. I found my parents in her parents and I truly empathize with the author as she loos 4.5 stars This is not an easy read in regards to the subject matter but wonderful read for those like me with aging parents. It is auto-biographic about the author, her siblings and her parents in their late stage in life. It beautifully captures her parents not just as parents of three kids, but as individuals, human beings with flaws and insecurities and admirable qualities. Touching, insightful, and relatable. I found my parents in her parents and I truly empathize with the author as she loose them to inevitability of time ... The writing was great, but at times confusing and could have been clear, instead of trying to be poetic.

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