Wednesday, May 02, 2007

M is for May. M is for Mothers Day. M is for Mothering Mother: A Daughters Humorous and Heartbreakng Memoir.

I read an interesting article online today from The New York Times, Are Book Reviewers Out of Print?

After reading these two quotes . . .

“While I’m all for the literary bloggers, and I think the more people that write about books the better, they’re not necessarily as regionally focused as knowledgeable, experienced long-term editors in the South or Midwest or anywhere where the most important writers come from,” said Sam Tanenhaus, the editor of The New York Times Book Review in a recent .

Also from the same article, there is this quote from Richard Ford, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. “Newspapers, by having institutional backing, have a responsible relationship not only to their publisher but to their readership,” Mr. Ford said, “in a way that some guy sitting in his basement in Terre Haute maybe doesn’t.”

. . . I was left with an overwhelming urge to post my very first book review. Be forewarned; I am not as regionally focused as knowledgeable, experienced long-term editors in the South and Midwest. And, I am not some guy sitting in his basement in Terre Haute either. But, as Martha Steward would say that is probably a good thing.

Mothering Mother: A Daughters Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir, by Carol D. O’Dell, Kunati Inc. (April 1, 2007)

I typically do not write creative nonfiction, because I can never quite sort through my emotions enough to get them onto paper in a coherent way that would amount to anything of value to anyone other than me. If I try to look back on an emotional event in my life and then write about it, there always seems to be a sense of detachment—a failure to portray my emotions in an authentic way. On the other hand, attempting to write about an emotional event as it is unfolding in my life, usually results in a narrative that is too emotional—nearly inaccessible to others, let alone helpful.

Carol D. O’Dell has no such problems with presenting a very engaging and accessible work of creative non fiction—a moving chronicle of the time she spent caring for her mother in her final days of Parkinson disease and the onset of Alzheimer’s. Remarkably, Mrs. O’Dell wrote her book in near real-time, while the daunting task of caring for her mother was simultaneously churning her emotions and interrupting the myriad of responsibilities she was already juggling as a wife and mother to her own family.

The audience for Mothering Mother reaches way beyond the obvious population of readers that comprise the ‘sandwich generation’, boomers taking care of both their own children and their elderly parents. This moving chronicle of one woman’s experience of mothering her mother taps into the very core of our greatest fears of illness, infirmary, abandonment, and death. It conveys a universal truth about the way people think, act, feel, and it does it with honesty, humor and love, exposing the authors emotional strengths and weaknesses in near real-time. This book is more than a memoir; it is an amazing, accomplished, work of creative non-fiction.

1 comment:

Paprikapink said...

Great review, J! Thanks for that -- I'm glad to know about this book.