Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Monday, October 12, 2009

Memoir Mondays... The Center Of The Universe by Nancy Bachrach

The Center of The Universe is named Lola...
And you'll never read "better material"...

The Center of the Universe opens with the deodorant selling ad exec living in Paris, Nancy Bachrach, getting a phone call from her brother... "Dad is Dead." How? "The Boat..." no he didn't drown, he died from carbon monoxide poisoning... the boat, the Mr. Fix It, was just that- the cabin cruiser her father loved to putter with. Her mother was in a coma... "Prepare yourself for a double funeral..." Nancy's thought says everything about this book...

"How do I prepare for a double funeral? Pack two of everything? Pack clothes that are very black..."

Nancy Bachrach is funny! And she is sarcastic. You'll want to laugh and cry as you read Nancy Bachrach's memoir, that centers around her mother Lola, the self proclaimed "Center of the Universe". A beautiful, vivacious woman whose episodes of madness and mania are what make up Nancy and her siblings lives growing up. It's the story of a colorful family (including a Rabbi accused of bootlegging, crazy Aunt Flossie who was really Nancy's Grandmother, and Nana who drove across state lines with hooch in the wheel wells of the truck she was driving!) But it's also the story of the frustration of dealing with doctors, their diagnoses (only time will tell), and numerous neurological problems as Lola lies in a coma after the freak accident that killed her father. As caring for her mother takes over Nancy's life, Nancy steps back a moment from her dark sense of humor and her sarcasm and begins to write a story of a mother and daughter coming to terms with the love they never really showed each other, but knew was always there... sprinkled with flashbacks, family stories and personal anecdotes, The Center Of The Universe is hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time and it was a joy to read!

In an interview Nancy was asked What she hoped readers of THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE will take away from the book? Her answer was, "Most families have their share of dysfunction, although mine is admittedly over the top. I hope readers will take away hope. No one should be counted out while they’re still breathing, even if they’re breathing on a ventilator. The brain is resilient, and despite what one well-meaning doctor told me, hope is never “counterproductive.” No one has a crystal ball."

If you want to want to be inspired when hearing the phrase "Time will tell"... pick up The Center Of The Universe. You'll be entertained (and probably shed a few tears), but like all good stories there is a happy ending... Want to read an excerpt? Here's Chapter One! Remember, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction!

Thank you to Sarah of Meryl L. Moss Media Relations for sending the review copy of this book along! I enjoyed it starting from page 1!


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Great review. This memoir has been on my radar.

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

This sounds great! I love memoirs, thanks for bringing this book to my attention :)

The Book Chick said...

Hmmm.....I've recently discovered that I really enjoy memoirs, and I already knew that I loved humour, so I'll have to check this one out. Thanks!

Heidi V said...

This sounds like a good book I'm in the need of a good cry. Great Review!


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