Friday, May 13, 2011

Imperfect Endings by Zoe Fitzgerald Carter (review #122)

by Zoe Fitzgerald Carter
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

It's never easy losing someone you love. It could be from an accident or peacefully in their sleep from old age. It still hurts. You still grieve. You still feel regrets.
Imagine if your loved one, your mother, wanted to take her own life? What if she was ready to make that decision for herself and she wanted your help?

Well, that it what Zoe Fitzgerald Carter was faced with when her mother, suffering from a host of ailments, most notably Parkinson's, decides to end her own life. She enlists her three daughters to help her plan the day it will happen and the events leading up to it.

I was a little hesitant about reading this one because I knew it would bring up a lot of questions and emotions in myself. Who decides when we die?
Why is believing in God's hands more acceptable than your own?

Carter does a wonderful job giving the reader an idea of the absolute craziness she felt during this time. She shares with us her indecision, her fear, her anger towards her mother, her feelings towards her deceased father, her tension with her sisters and her absence from her own family. I never felt she was doing anything wrong but yet, I didn't feel like anything was right about the situation. I completely understood her mother's motive and her desire to take away all of her pain and be at peace. I also understood the incredible anger her daughters and family had towards her for putting them in this situation.

This made me think of my own Grandma, who lived until she was 94. Admittedly she had wanted to go about ten years before that but her faith kept her strong until the end. She believed that when it was her time, God would call her. How amazing and frustrating at the same time! To believe that strongly but still feel like you are ready in yourself. Did she ever have thoughts like Zoe's mom? Who knows? I doubt it but one never really knows.

Overall, this memoir was unique. It shared a very intimate and powerful story of Carter's family. Sprinkled in were scenes from her childhood and her relationships with each family members, which showcased her love for her mother even more and her need to be loved by her.

Review: 4/6
I do recommend this for fans of personal memoirs. It is a bit intense and gloomy but assisting your mother with her own suicide can't really be anything but that. But what I got from it was a little Q&A with myself on my beliefs and motivations towards family and death. A little self reflection is a good thing and when prompted by a well written memoir, even better.

Book Club Pick?
Yes, definitely. It would bring on strong emotion along with some pretty intense debate, I believe. Relationships between mothers and daughter are one thing that easily can get people talking but the added conflict of right and wrong surrounding death brings on so much more.

Author Website:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Great review! This book sounds intense. I feel like it is the kind of book that I should read because it is life and forces great thought and reflection, but I don't want the gloom. Real life can be so depressing.

Misha said...

How horrifying that a mother would ask her daughters to plan her suicide! :o
It does sound like a gloomy read, but I like books which evokes questions.
Thanks for the review!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

It is a horrifying thought but when you read it and feel their relationships, it makes sense. You ask the ones closest to you in your time of need.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Oh wow. I can't imagine. Sounds compelling.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This sounds like a tough one. I do like the cover.