The End of Your Life Book Club
by Will Schwalbe
Synopsis: "What are you reading?"
That's the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less.
This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a "book club" that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn't the opposite of doing; it's the opposite of dying.
Will and Mary Anne share their hopes and concerns with each other-and rediscover their lives-through their favorite books. When they read, they aren't a sick person and a well person, but a mother and a son taking a journey together. The result is a profoundly moving tale of loss that is also a joyful, and often humorous, celebration of life: Will's love letter to his mother, and theirs to the printed page.
From the book jacket
Review: I went into this book hoping to find out a lot about various books and find some books that I wanted to read. My expectations were not met and that's why I'm struggling to review and rate this book. The book did not focus as much on the books that they read as much as on Mary Anne's life and her perspectives and opinions on things. The books were woven into the story of Mary Anne's treatments and health struggles and sometimes the author would provide a synopsis but sometimes only a title was mentioned. At times I felt like the author was just title dropping books that didn't have a role in the story. Mary Anne's life was quite remarkable with all the charitable work that she did. I found it interesting to read just not what I had expected from the book.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars