Thursday, February 16, 2012


Story Description: 

The groundbreaking discovery that shows why women need fat to lose fat A resonant memoir of the ways untimely good-byes echo through the years by a writer who has considered every nuance of grief. 

At age fourteen, Claire Bidwell Smith-an only child- learned that both of her parents had cancer. The fear of becoming a family of one before she came of age compels Claire to make a series of fraught choices, set against the glittering backdrop of New York and Los Angeles-and the pall of regret. When the inevitable happens, and Claire is alone in the world, she is inconsolable at the revelation that suddenly she is no one's special person. It is only when Claire eventually falls in love, marries, and becomes a mother that she emerges from the fog of grief. 

Defying a conventional framework, this story is told using the five stages of grief as a window into Smith's experience. As in the very best memoirs, the author's powerful and exquisite writing renders personal events into universal experience. 

My Review: 

In 1996, 18-year-old, Claire, gets a phone call from her father telling her that her mother is back in the hospital.  Her cancer had gone too far and there wasn’t anything the doctors’ could do to help her. 

Claire immediately flashes back to the previous weekend when her Mom had come from Atlanta to Virginia to visit her on campus.  They went out to dinner, took a drive along the winding mountain, and her mother was acting “chipper”.  At the end of the weekend, Claire couldn’t wait to get rid of her so she could get back to her own life.  A thought she’d come to regret and little did she know that her entire life was about to change in 7 short years. 

Losing a parent is life-altering.  We always think our parents will live forever but the sad truth is that we all lose our parents at some point.  I was at least able to have my Mom until I was 43 and my Dad until I was 48. 

This was an incredibly sad story as Claire lost both of her parents before she was 25-years-old.  Ms. Smith’s book should be read by everyone because at some point you too will experience the sad, heart-wrenching pain and grief of losing your parents.  Even for those like myself who have already suffered the loss of both parents this beautiful and touching memoir will lead you to be a better person.  Excellent!


  1. Sounds so sad. I am 47 and dreading the day I have to let one of my parents go.

  2. Yes, Dana "dread" is a good word because you'll never feel such pain again. It is very difficult to lose your parents but unfortunately, we all must face that tragic and sad loss some day. My wish for you is that you'll have both your parents for a long time to come yet.


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