Thursday, April 8, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks - Week 13: Making Toast

The trick when foraging for a tooth lost in coffee grounds is not to be misled by the clumps. The only way to be sure is to rub each clump between our thumb and index finger, which makes a mess of your hands... These are the opening lines of columnist Roger Rosenblatt's memoir, Making Toast. This memoir covers a relatively short period of time compared to many - the years immediately following the death of his daughter. Mr. Rosenblatt and his wife moved in with their son-in-law and grandchildren to be part of their household. The author's grief has been tempered a bit by time and he does a remarkable job of relating what it is like to have a child die - something many of us will experience. I read this book with particular interest, being in a time when grief is fresh for myself and my family.  I was surprised at the lack of emotion in this story. While he relates stories about his grandchildren and daughter, he does so with a straightforward, almost mechanical style. Just the facts. This has led me to conclude that perhaps Mr. Rosenblatt's grief is still fresh, as mine is. Some days, all that you can handle are the facts. While this book is not upsetting in any way, it also offers no comfort to those who are traveling the same or similar paths. I ascribe part of this to the fact that the author does not believe in a "beneficent God." Because of this lack of comfort and eternal perspective, I would not recommend this book. Perhaps a better book would be A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis - another book  I want to read someday soon.

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