Friday, May 15, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge: The Year My Mother Came Back by Alice Eve Cohen

This summer, members of the Vise Library are participating in a Summer Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

This week's book is The Year My Mother Came Back by Alice Eve Cohen.

About the book:

For the first time in decades I’m remembering Mom, all of her--the wonderful and terrible things about her that I’ve cast out of my thoughts for so long. I’m still struggling to prevent these memories from erupting from their subterranean depths. Trying to hold back the flood. I can’t, not today. The levees break.

Thirty years after her death, Alice Eve Cohen’s mother appears to her, seemingly in the flesh, and continues to do so during the hardest year Alice has had to face: the year her youngest daughter needs a harrowing surgery, her eldest daughter decides to reunite with her birth mother, and Alice herself receives a daunting diagnosis. As it turns out, it’s entirely possible for the people we’ve lost to come back to us when we need them the most.

Although letting her mother back into her life is not an easy thing, Alice approaches it with humor, intelligence, and honesty. What she learns is that she must revisit her childhood and allow herself to be a daughter once more in order to take care of her own girls. Understanding and forgiving her mother’s parenting transgressions leads her to accept her own and to realize that she doesn’t have to be perfect to be a good mother.
This is an amazing memoir about motherhood.  This memoir is about the author's very difficult year of health and motherhood.  Alice shows you the tense relationship that she had with her mother due to her own mother's breast cancer.  Unfortunately Alice herself eventually gets breast cancer and discusses herself as a mother.  Alice undergoes treatment for her breast cancer and this is where her mother's voice comes to her.  She discusses her adoptive daughter seeking out her birth mother.  Alice's other daughter also treatment herself.  This daughter has a leg-lengthening procedure that is from a birth defect.  As the author reflects on her relationship with her mother and herself as a mother you can't help but reflect on your own relationship with your mother.  This book is very honest and heartbreaking.  Anyone that has a mother or is a mother (or both! ha!) will gain something from reading this book.  This book will give you insight into the complexities of motherhood, even if you aren't a mother yourself.  I think anything that makes you self-reflect is good (even if you can't relate to many things that the other person experiences).  And I can say this book does just that.  
Buy the book:
       Barnes and Noble
      Parnassus Books

About the author:

Alice Eve Cohen is a writer and solo theatre artist. Her new memoir, The Year My Mother Came Back was published by Algonquin Books in March, 2015; audiobook (read by the author) published by Highbridge/​Recorded Books. Her first memoir, What I Thought I Knew (Viking /​ Penguin) won the Elle's Lettres Grand Prix for Nonfiction; it was selected as one of Oprah Magazine’s 25 Best Books of Summer and Salon's Best Books of the Year. Her solo theater adaptation of the book has been produced at the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca and other venues. She has written for Nickelodeon, CTW, and CBS, and has toured her solo shows and plays to theatres, festivals and schools, nationally and internationally. Her writing about arts in education has been published in nine languages, and she has written for various print and online publications. The recipient of fellowships and grants from the NYS Council on the Arts and the NEA, she has been an artist-in-residence at Virginia Center for Creative Arts and Voice & Vision Theatre's Envision Retreat. She was a writer-in-residence at Frank McCourt high school for writing and journalism, and has taught writing and performance workshops at schools and universities around the country. She holds a BA from Princeton University and an MFA from The New School. Alice teaches at The New School and lives with her family in New York City. She is currently working on a novel.

Connect with the author:

No comments:

Post a Comment