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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
“A beautifully crafted memoir, rich with humor and wisdom.” —Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club
“The idea of a cultured gay man leaving New York City to care for his aging mother in Paris, Missouri, is already funny, and George Hodgman reaps that humor with great charm. But then he plunges deep, examining the warm yet fraught relationship between mother and son with profound insight and understanding.” —Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home
When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay.
As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman’s New York Times bestselling debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son’s return.
From the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Honest and revealing, this true story tugs at your heart and at your fears, for here is the journey that we all face in one way or another. May we all stumble through it as lovingly as George.
Compassionate and spot on funny. A perfect blend of all things human. As a new caretaker of my aging mother (also Betty), I've been inspired and reassured. Thanks for the reminder that kindness is what we all crave.
An honest memoir filled with Life
One of the best memoirs I have read in a long while, filled with all the beauty, pain, and confusion that is life. And oh, how it brought back memories of my own relationship with my elderly mom in the years before she passed. It broke my heart at times, made me cry and remember some incidents with her that I wished I could forget. But it made me smile for the similarities! I related to the authors feelings of guilt, of shame, of feeling "not quite good enough. I also related to his spirit of hope and kindness and by the end, considered him a friend. What a beautiful book...I will not soon forget it