Book Review – The End of Your Life Book Club

I read about this book when reading about another book.  I cannot recall if it was a book award or a blog, so if I read about it in your blog, I apologize.  I promise to get better so I can give credit where credit is due, especially when I read a great book!

The book is by Will Schwalbe and is non-fiction.  The book begins when the author and his family discover his mother has pancreatic cancer.  The author and his mom start an exclusive book club, just the two of them, because they have always loved books and shared them.  It is not dry at all and is written so well.

I read some terrible reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, where the thing many readers took away was the privileged, affluent life the author had.  Yes, his family had money, that is not deniable.  They had ties to New York and London theater, and the list of people they knew read like a who’s who list of authors, playrights, and journalists.

But his mother, Mary Ann (which the author misspells all the way through the book, something he realizes when he is filling out DNR paperwork towards the end of her life), was so much more than just a rich, socialite.  She was once the admissions director at Radcliffe, and helped combine the admissions offices of that school and Harvard.  She was an activist, who assisted refugees, visited Afghanistan, worked tirelessly to see a library built in Afghanistan, and so much other great deeds.  His mother was someone to be admired, and yes, envied even, but she was so giving, and from the author’s accounts, so, well, “larger than life.”

There is a rather long list of books and authors that the two read and/or discussed from the time she was diagnosed and she died.  I cannot wait to read many of these, they really brought some of these books alive for me.

Despite the reviews I read, this was a really great book!  I would recommend this book to just about anyone.  I was particularly touched, because my mom and I used to discuss books, too.  I miss that, and could feel for the author, when he lost his mom.


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