O'Rourke's story is one of a life gone off the rails, of how watching her mother's illness-and separating from her husband-left her fundamentally altered. But it is also one of resilience, as she observes her family persevere even in the face of immeasurable loss.
With lyricism and unswerving candor, The Long Goodbye conveys the fleeting moments of joy that make up a life, and the way memory can lead us out of the jagged darkness of loss. Effortlessly blending research and reflection, the personal and the universal, it is not only an exceptional memoir, but a necessary one.
Meghan O’Rourke is the author of Halflife, a collection of poetry. She is a cultural critic for Slate, and her essays and poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Visit the author's website: http://meghanorourke.net/
Follow Meghan on Twitter: http://twitter.com/meghanor
Check out other participants on this blog tour:
- Tuesday, April 5th: Sophisticated Dorkiness
- Wednesday, April 6th: Seaside Book Nook
- Thursday, April 7th: In the Next Room
- Friday, April 8th: Patricia’s Wisdom
- Monday, April 11th: Colloquium
- Tuesday, April 12th: Silver and Grace
- Wednesday, April 13th: Boarding in my Forties
- Thursday, April 14th: Overstuffed
- Friday, April 15th: A Chick Who Reads
- Monday, April 18th: Reviews from the Heart
- Tuesday, April 19th: Life.. With Books
- Wednesday, April 20th: BookNAround
- Thursday, April 21st: Reading on a Rainy Day
- Friday, April 22nd: Rundpinne
- Monday, April 25th: not that you asked
- Tuesday, April 26th: Bookstack
- Wednesday, April 27th: The Avid Reader’s Musings
Meghan O'Rourke has written a transparent and heart-wrenching memoir about her mother's battle with cancer. She goes through the agonizing details as the family watches her mother die on Christmas Day in the family home.
The Long Goodbye openly looks at an event that none of us want to deal with. Unfortunately, death happens, and there is nothing we can do to stop it.
Meghan's beliefs are much different than mine, and finding closure and healing of her broken heart was a very difficult journey. She read numerous memoirs dealing with death, healing workbooks, Buddhist texts, and more. At one point she personally found that Shakespeare's Hamlet seemed to help her more than anything else. Even her troubled relationships showed the extent of her sorrow as she searched for peace.
I found this book very hard to read for numerous reasons, but most specifically because of my personal beliefs. My own grief in losing my father late last year is still very fresh, and I really thought I could relate to this memoir, but did not find that connection.
I plan to read this book again, and maybe a different season in my life will give me a different perspective and appreciation.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of The Long Goodbye through TLC Book Tours, in exchange for my honest review.