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The End of Your Life Book Club (2012)

by Will Schwalbe

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1,9201715,959 (3.93)213
The inspiring story of a son and his dying mother, who form a "book club" that brings them together as her life comes to a close.
Recently added byemaoping, yeungster, Vrendes, avk88, Bookin11, Evamaren, lesleydawn, piquareste, patrice1, private library
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» See also 213 mentions

English (166)  Catalan (2)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  All languages (171)
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
Will Schwalbe has managed to write a book that not only commemorates his late mothers life, but celebrates it as well. Following her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, they start an informal book club together, hence the title. Throughout the book they read and discuss a large number of books as her treatments take place and her health deteriorates over a couple of years.

Mary Ann Schwalbe comes across as a remarkable woman; she spent time in Afghanistan and Thailand working with refugees and vulnerable people who society had abandoned and sought to bring them small simple pleasures. Not only does she has a big, generous heart, she has insight, sharp political nous and compassion. Whilst the ending is ultimately known, and expected, the way that she grabs hold of life is inspiring. Through the book the pancreatic cancer advances and retreats and she accepts the necessary pain and steady deterioration in health with humility and decorum. She also realises her privileged position, and seeks a political solution to the lack of heath care to these at the very bottom of the American health care system.

Schwalbe wears his emotions on his sleeve. And that is understandable, it is his mother after all. The books that they read together act as a comfort blanket at times; sometimes as a prism revealing their anxieties and fears, and sometimes as a mirror that shows things as they are. The book is punctuated with passages and quotes that has significance at that time. What Mary Ann Schwalbe leaves is a legacy of an immensely strong family unit and she shows an ability to look beyond where you are. The books that her and Will read add punctuation and relief to the end of her life.
( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Moving.
( )
  nwieme | Mar 19, 2020 |
I had no idea what this book was about when I started listening to it. It sounded interesting so I borrowed it from my local library as an easy night time read. I found myself so smitten with the characters that I wanted to read the books they were reading and join in the conversation with them. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. ( )
  DoodleMom | Dec 3, 2019 |
A sweet book about a son and his mother dying of cancer. ( )
  carliwi | Sep 23, 2019 |
The author and his mother discuss books over the course of her treatment for pancreatic cancer. Mary Anne Schwalbe was obviously an amazing woman and humanitarian who didn't let her terminal diagnosis keep her from caring about others. As she and her son Will discuss books, she is also sharing insights into her life, and her thoughts about death. An amazing book and journey. ( )
  cherybear | Jul 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
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This book is dedicated with love and gratitude to Nina, Doug, and Dad —
and David.
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We were nuts about the mocha in the waiting room at Memorial Sloan-Kettering's outpatient care center.
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