Welcome All Book Lovers

Welcome All Book Lovers

Monday, March 16, 2015

A witty, tender memoir of a son’s journey home to care for his irascible mother—a tale of secrets, silences, and enduring love

When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay.

As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman’s debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son’s return.



Read from March 13 to 16, 2015

I got this book from the author through one of my book groups for an honest review. Thank you!

This book is sad and hilarious all at once. I really feel for the author having to take care of his mom while she is going through dementia.

George comes from his home in New York to his hometown in Paris, Missouri. His mom Betty has turned 91 years old, but she's not doing well at all. Her eyesight is bad, she's slowly getting dementia. It's such a sad thing to me. You want your parents around forever, but you don't want them to go through anything bad or to suffer in any way. He had already lost his dad to cancer.

The small town they live in is sort of becoming a ghost town. All of the old cool places have shut down and boarded up as we have all seen across America. I like one of the things the author says in the book, "Things are different now. A book I read said three things changed rural America: the breakup of the family farm; Wal-Mart; meth." I totally agree.

All of the older people are passing, nothing new is coming in. It's sad.

Betty and George have this witty banter with each other, it seems to have been there all of their lives. Sometimes it's very heart-breaking, but most of the time I found myself cracking up at the things they would say to each other!

Betty was feeling her world collapse around her, like everything was getting lost, going away. It's like having no control over your life any more.

I give kudos to George for taking care of her, and even though he was going back and forth whether to put her in a home or not, he chose to do what he could until he could not. I think that is wonderful. 
5  Stars

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