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One True Thing by Anna Quinlen

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Reviews (7)
Risky Strong Dromedary
Wow! I lost my mother last August. She was in a nursing home & my brother & I were there every day for four years. My mother had a long life. She was 98 when she passed. Our relationship was very similar to the one in this story ,the good days & bad as well. In the end I miss my mother & think of her every day. I remember all the little things growing up that she taught me. Also all the things that she told me happened in her life. This book brought that back to me in a good way.
Beautifully observed and written, this story of a young woman getting to know her mother and herself when her mother is dying was a pleasure. It was clear to me the author has been with a person in the last stages of a terminal disease, but I don't think that was really the point. It was about finding out who we are and then finding out we were mistaken, even so. The only thing that bothered me was the central premise - that a doctor would ask for an autopsy for a terminally ill patient already taking morphine. But the plot needed it, so I decided to suspend disbelief. I'm a believer in the truth being more important than the facts, in fiction and perhaps in life too.
Road.to sliver
At the time...it was difficult to read, as I found this book in the hospital gift store while my mom was battling a rare stage 3-4 cancer. However, so grateful to have read it then, and have since it read two more times. It helped me to empathize with my mom during her battle, not only within the mother/daughter relationship aspects, but there were also things the daughter did to help her mom be comfortable...gave me ideas. Helped me open my heart, mind and soul, and view many things in life differently. Sometimes we forget that our moms, parents are human beings too.

Forever grateful to Anna Quindlen for writing this book, and to my Angels for sending it to me at my most optimum time.
At first, it seems to be a predictable,but tragic tale of how a family copes with their mother's cancer and death. The reader eventually gets caught up in the daughter's(Ellen) emotional journey as she takes care of her dying mother while handling an absentee father and occasional visits from her two brothers. The story gets more complicated and interesting when Ellen is charged with murdering her mother. I won't give the end away,but it is not what one may think. Her experiences also influence a change in career. As with any death,family dynamics change and sometimes aren't so neat. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it it to others.
I wasn't prepared to like this book, which was a book club choice, so I was surprised at how affecting it was. I thought it would be another Mother/Daughter/Cancer story that has been done too many times. The scene is set for 5 or 6 months of intense interaction between a traditional mother and her intellectual daughter, Ellen, during which mom tries hard not be weak, but also to communicate with Ellen. Ellen, of course, discovers that mom has a good brain, and knows more about Dad’s short-comings than she had given her credit for. This is very well done, without sparing us the unpleasant details of care-giving a terminal patient. Ellen, however, shows us her selfish, put-upon side, that, though somewhat justified, is unattractive. She has been forced to give up 6 months and a career opportunity to usher her mom out and, at 23, doesn’t see the beauty of it. It is a very realistic portrait of a family under the stress of terminal cancer. The plot was logical and the characters were well-drawn. I saw the movie of the book and found it to be much less safisfying, especially the ending. The novel's ending was very good and so important to the writer's themes that it was particularly odd that it was changed. Read the book and skip the movie.
Do I take the time to read the book long after I see the movie...
Not sure which I love more?
It resonated deeply,loudly?
I'm 63,my Mom has been dead 63 years,I remember nothing of her...I wish that was different.
11 years ago I watched my beloved husband succumb to cancer,I needed to sign the permission to change his morphine shots to an IV drop to hasten the inevitable, it was hard...
I know this is a work of fiction but it's profoundly true.
This novel seems very simple at first. Those of us who read alot, often try to figure out where it is going as we read. Just as we try to understand the essence of what we are reading, we too are discovering our own flaws and misconceptions. Just because we believe something, doesn't mean that it is true. It's just what you believe based on your experience.
Both my sister and I almost stopped reading this book during the Prologue, which just didn't catch our interest and is not really representative of the extremely moving, engaging Part I of the book. (It is more in line with Part II.) I can see why Quindlen framed the story with the Prologue but wanted to caution potential readers not to judge the book by it. I lost my mother last year following a long illness and thought this book might be too difficult to read. It was challenging, but so beautifully written that it helped me work through some of my own issues. It's not a perfect book, but Quindlen is truly a gifted writer and creator of characters, and the book is full of exquisite passages that perfectly, and sadly, capture the pain we experience when watching a loved one fall victim to illness. I am very glad I read this book.

ISBN: 0099281791

Rating: 4.5/5

Votes: 744

Other Formats: docx lrf mobi txt

ISBN13: 978-0099281795

Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd; New Ed edition (1999)

Language: English

Subcategory: Contemporary

Pages: 289

One True Thing
Literature & Fiction
Author: Anna Quinlen
Title: One True Thing