Welcome All Book Lovers

Welcome All Book Lovers

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Home Is Burning by Dan Marshall

Dave Eggers meets David Sedaris in this uproariously funny, unflinchingly honest, and tender memoir.

Dan's mom has always had cancer. First diagnosed when he was only ten years old, she was the model of resilience throughout his childhood, fighting her disease with tenacity and a mouth foul enough to make a sailor blush. But just as she faces a relapse, her husband —a successful businessman and devoted father—is diagnosed with ALS. He is told that in a few months' time, he be unable to walk, eat, or breathe on his own. Dan, a recent college graduate living the good life in Los Angeles, has no choice but to return home to help.

Reinstalled in his parents' basement (in one of the only non-Mormon homes in a Salt Lake City subdivision) Dan is reunited with his siblings. His older sister Tiffany is resentful, having stayed closer to home to bear the brunt of their mother's illness. Younger brother Greg comes to lend a hand, giving up a journalism career and evenings cruising Chicago gay bars. Younger sister Michelle is a sullen teenager experimenting with drinking and flirting with her 35-year-old soccer coach. And baby sister Chelsea—the oddest duck in a family of misfits—can only think about dance. Together they form Team Terminal, going to battle against their parents' illnesses and cracking plenty of jokes along the way.

As Dan steps into his role as caregiver, wheelchair wrangler, and sibling referee, he watches pieces of his previous life slip away, and comes to realize that you don't get to choose when it's time to grow up.@goodreads



This is a journey into a family's nightmare... at least in my opinion. The author is crude in the book, self absorbed at times in the book and he admits it all. He doesn't care what people think, he tells this story with no holds barred. Why should people put up a front about their life? Why should they hide who they are? Even if we don't always agree with the way people think or do things, I think it's awesome that he could write things that a lot of people wouldn't even admit to... now on with the review.

Dan and his brother and sisters are going through life happy enough. The older children are settling down with jobs or graduating college the younger girls are doing okay in whatever they have going on at school. Their mom has cancer and it seems like for years and years she goes through chemo.. I mean damn.. I can't imagine that, even at the end of the book in 2014 she's still going through chemo. This woman has the strength of an ox!

So here they all are with a mom that has cancer and a wonderful dad that runs marathons and owns several newspapers around the area. Then one day their healthy dad goes to the doctor and is diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. Thus, the story takes off with the horrific events of having to take care of two terminally ill parents. One destined to die soon, the other that won't let cancer beat her.

I loved Dan's parents, the dad is so sweet and such a calm person. His mom is a tough as nails woman that had me laughing many times with her cussing and yelling at everyone :)

It's up to Dan and his brother Greg to take care of their dad because mom says so.. but later on toward the end they told her he had to have a nurse, so she relented.

I hate to say I enjoyed reading this book because that seems weird, but I don't mean I enjoyed it because it's a memoir of people dying, I enjoyed it because it was about a family that helped each other and excepted each other no matter what they did. They showed love and support for each other even if they bitched and complained about having to do this hard work. They were real.. just being real, but they stuck together. Some more so than others, but I digress.

I hate diseases, I hate people and animal getting diseases. I wish all diseases would just piss off!







  1. Omg how sad! TWO parents who are terminally ill? That's got to be rough. Sounds like an interesting book.

    1. Yeah, can you image! But the mom just keeps doing chemo and lives on.. but still.. OMG!