The End of Your Life Book Club
By Will Schwalbe
Alfred A Knopf, 2012. 336 pgs. Biography
When Mary Schwalbe was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer she and her family knew that their days together were numbered. While waiting for one of her chemo sessions, her son, Will, casually asks her what she’s been reading, and it soon becomes a tradition of theirs. They even start reading the same books, and their little two person book club is formed. This is the heartwarming memoir Will later wrote about a special bond between him and his mother, and how they drew closer together as her life came to a close.
I think being able to discuss books, and the ideas and feelings they produce, can create a unique connection between people. This memoir is a little window into how deep that connection can grow, and how people can be affected by writing. As someone who’s lost a family member to pancreatic cancer, I felt Will’s portrayal was honest and tender. His writing clearly focused more on the relationship with his mom than anything else. I really enjoyed reading this book, but often felt a quiet sadness knowing how it would end. Noted at the end of the memoir is a list of every title mentioned throughout the book.