“A painfully beautiful memoir….Written with such restraint as to be both heartbreaking and instructive.”
—E. L. Doctorow
A revered, many times honored (George Polk, Peabody, and Emmy Award winner, to name but a few) journalist, novelist, and playwright, Roger Rosenblatt shares the unforgettable story of the tragedy that changed his life and his family. A book that grew out of his popular December 2008 essay in The New Yorker, Making Toast is a moving account of unexpected loss and recovery in the powerful tradition of About Alice and The Year of Magical Thinking. Writer Ann Beattie offers high praise to the acclaimed author of Lapham Rising and Beet for a memoir that is, “written so forthrightly, but so delicately, that you feel you’re a part of this family.”
Topics: Grief and Parenting
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It’s amazing what love can do to help you overcome anything. Grandparents become surrogate parents, aunts and uncles become new friends to help the children adapt. The most lucky thing is the children are young so that it might be easier to adjust.
Family seems to be the story of the day as they all deal with Amy’s death differently. Mom Ginny tries to help out and take her place whenever possible. Dad Roger struggles to find his place in the process. Husband Harris struggles in his own way. In the end they all do come through, but with many trials and tribulations along the way.
I managed to read the whole book in one day, which isn't that remarkable since it was originally written as an essay, but I also managed to read it without tears. Those came as I finished the book and realized that those three children and their father, aunts, uncles, and both sets of grandparents still struggle daily to understand what happened and to try and move forward.
The book isn't written as a history or as a biography but as a stream of remembrances. How Amy was at six, then as a teen, the as a toddler, then as a college student. The memories are triggered often by her children. They will say or do something that reminds Roger of something Amy did that was similar or how she handled it with the oldest but that the youngest will never know.
The children play a central part in the story, from trying to help them cope with the loss of a mother to learning their day to day habits and trying to help a father who feels lost without his mate. But it is also a story about how two grandparents learn to cope with the loss of a daughter and the sudden responsibility of caring for three small children (not alone but they do take on a whole new lifestyle).
A touching, heartbreaking story and one that I'm very glad I took the time to read.