Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: The Year My Mother Came Back

The Year My Mother Came Back
by Alice Eve Cohen

Publisher: Algonquin
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  For the first time in decades I’m remembering Mom, all of her--the wonderful and terrible things about her that I’ve cast out of my thoughts for so long. I’m still struggling to prevent these memories from erupting from their subterranean depths. Trying to hold back the flood. I can’t, not today. The levees break.

Thirty years after her death, Alice Eve Cohen’s mother appears to her, seemingly in the flesh, and continues to do so during the hardest year Alice has had to face: the year her youngest daughter needs a harrowing surgery, her eldest daughter decides to reunite with her birth mother, and Alice herself receives a daunting diagnosis. As it turns out, it’s entirely possible for the people we’ve lost to come back to us when we need them the most.

Although letting her mother back into her life is not an easy thing, Alice approaches it with humor, intelligence, and honesty. What she learns is that she must revisit her childhood and allow herself to be a daughter once more in order to take care of her own girls. Understanding and forgiving her mother’s parenting transgressions leads her to accept her own and to realize that she doesn’t have to be perfect to be a good mother.

Kritters Thoughts:  What an interesting take on a memoir.  Spanning only a year of Alice Eve Cohen's life, she tells the story of how her mother who had been gone for a long time reappears as Alice's life is basically falling apart.  She also includes little moments from her past that help the reader learn more about Alice and her mother and their relationship.  

There were many times reading this book where I couldn't believe that all of this was happening to the same woman at the same time.  Cancer, major surgery for her daughter and another daughter wanting to connect with her birth mom - that is a lot for a life time let alone a year!  Although I am not a complete believer in ghosts or dead people reappearing, I could understand how Alice needed her mom at these moments and would imagine her there by her side - it didn't feel too far out in left field!

If you are a memoir fan this is a good one.  I love memoirs that read in the vein of fiction and this one did just that.

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from BookSparks PR.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

1 comment :

  1. I saw this somewhere else and thought it looked interesting. I can see how all of that stress would bring her mother to her for support. I'm not a big memoir reader, but if it reads like fiction I'll give it a try.


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