Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download from the iTunes Store, get iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download

Our Short History

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


“Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it’s bigger—and stronger—than before.”  —Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You

How can a woman learn to let go of the people she loves the most? 

Karen Neulander, a successful New York political consultant and single mother, has always been fiercely protective of her son, Jacob, now six. She’s had to be: when Jacob’s father, Dave, found out Karen was pregnant and made it clear that fatherhood wasn’t in his plans, Karen walked out of the relationship, never telling Dave her intention was to raise their child alone.

But now Jake is asking to meet his dad, and with good reason: Karen is dying. When she finally calls her ex, she’s shocked to find Dave ecstatic about the son he never knew he had. First, he can’t meet Jake fast enough, and then he can’t seem to leave him alone. Karen quickly grows anxious as she watches Dave insinuate himself into Jake’s life just as her own strength and hold on Jake grow more tenuous.

As she struggles to play out her last days in the “right” way for Jake, Karen wrestles with the knowledge that the only thing she cannot bring herself to do for her son—let his father become a permanent part of his life—is the thing he needs from her the most. With heart-wrenching poignancy, unexpected wit, and mordant humor, Lauren Grodstein has created an unforgettable story about parenthood, sacrifice, and life itself.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 30, 2017 – Karen Neulander has a rotten deal. Diagnosed with stage-IV ovarian cancer, she tries to manage her health surgeries and treatments to prolong her life as well as her career political consultant to a philandering New York City councilman running for reelection. Most important is her six-year-old son, Jake. While Jake knows she has a terminal illness, Karen fiercely protects his world and pens a book for him the very book we are reading, in fact so that she can leave him something tangible as a guide for his life without her. Knowing she won't be around forever, Jake suddenly wants to find his father, Dave, the love of Karen's life, who ditched her when he learned she was pregnant. Grodstein (A Friend of the Family) deftly explores family relationships, but the device of Karen writing a book for her son is cumbersome and artificial. The power of the book is also undermined by the sentimental circumstances and predictable ending: will Karen let Dave, who has changed and is eager to have a meaningful relationship with the son he never knew he had, be a part of her son's future without her?
Our Short History
View in iTunes
  • $1.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Mar 21, 2017
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • Seller: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this book.