A poignant, heartfelt memoir that offers support and inspiration.

Pulling Taffy


A touching account of a daughter-turned-caregiver to her dementia-afflicted mother.

Jan “Taffy” Hallett Weisblat was a fairly accomplished woman. Born in 1918, Taffy enjoyed many interesting adventures, including a less-than-cordial meeting with President Calvin Coolidge when she was a child. After she married, Taffy traveled extensively, living in  India—an experience that prompted her to write and publish a book of poems—before making her foray into the antiques world. Her daughter, author Tinky Weisblat (The Pudding Hollow Cookbook, 2004), portrays Taffy as an endearing, vivacious woman. After Taffy was diagnosed as “pleasantly demented,” Weisblat and her brother set out to give Taffy the best care possible, which ultimately led to her living with Weisblat. Weisblat’s firsthand experience provides an excellent, compassionate supplement to books about Alzheimer’s. The well-written diarylike entries offer a cohesion that enables a smooth transition from one entry to the next. The author’s account of her final year with her mother provides a candid look at an emotionally wrenching time that included laughter, tears, cooking, singing and dancing. Also included are recipes of traditional family meals or dishes that simply provided a memorable moment. Recounting her year of caretaking with honest humility, Weisblat created a forum for the author to forgive herself for her perceived shortcomings, and her book may help relieve the pressure for readers who find themselves in similar circumstances.

A poignant, heartfelt memoir that offers support and inspiration.

Pub Date: June 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0974274102

Page Count: 206

Publisher: Merry Lion Press, The

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

Did you like this book?



An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

Did you like this book?