Wednesday, July 7, 2010
by Roger Rosenblatt [Biography Rosenblatt]
This is a bittersweet, painful little gem of a book. When columnist/writer/university professor Roger Rosenblatt's 38-year-old daughter dies suddenly of a rare and undiagnosed heart condition, he and his wife Ginny move in with their son-in-law to help raise their three young grandchildren. Rosenblatt's book is basically just a series of slice-of-life vignettes, told mostly in chronological order (with a few flashbacks) as Roger and Ginny settle into the "parenting" routine they thought they'd left behind 20 years earlier. Family members each have different ways of coping with their losses, and Rosenblatt himself is superb at controlling his emotions. Each scene of this book is like a brittle, fragile feather -- you're never quite sure if it will crumble or disintegrate. But when you combine all of those feathers together, by the end of the book, you've got an entire pillow's worth of feathers -- capable of supporting the heavy emotional load of the subject matter. I found Making Toast to be an exceptional read, and Rosenblatt's ultimate message that "life goes on" and you should make the most of the small moments, was reassuring. Even if those small moments are as simple as perfecting the methods of making toast for your grandchildren. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library
[Also available in downloadable audio and book-on-cd formats.]
[ Making Toast as it originally appeared as a column in The New Yorker ] | [ official Roger Rosenblatt web page from HarperCollins.com ]
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