UNFORGETTABLE by Scott Simon

UNFORGETTABLE

A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime
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KIRKUS REVIEW

As he sat at his dying mother's bedside in 2013, Simon (Baby We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption, 2010, etc.), the award-winning host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, tweeted messages to his 1.2 million followers, recording the last moments of his mother's exuberant life.

The author had flown to Chicago after learning his mother was in the intensive care unit. She had been about to travel to California for a summer-holiday visit with his family. Troubled by an annoying cough and weight loss, she decided to get a checkup before leaving. To her dismay, she learned that lung cancer that had been in remission had returned, and she had only days left to live. Simon found her hooked up to oxygen, gasping for breath and speaking with difficulty. Nonetheless, she retained her joie de vivre and savored memories of times they had shared and people they knew. This book is built around the tweets that he sent during that difficult time. They became the vehicle for him to memorialize her indomitable spirit as she gave “a last great performance.” Her great love was the author’s father, whom she divorced after his out-of-control alcoholism became destructive, and she had two subsequent marriages. Although it was Simon’s father who had been a professional comedian, it was his mother's extraordinary sense of humor, gift of friendship and love of life that dominated his life. Even in the period when she was a single mother taking modeling jobs to support her son, they lived in style. “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have,” was one of her mottoes. Another was “Never be afraid to go into a classy place.”

A charming tribute to a remarkable woman and the bond between mother and son.

Pub Date: March 31st, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-250-06113-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2015




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