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Making Toast

A book by Roger Rosenblatt

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Thoughtful account of author's tragic loss of a daughter.

  • Jul 13, 2010

Roger Rosenblatt is an accomplished journalist, novelist and playwright.  It is from this depth of writing talent that Rosenblatt eloquently recounts the days, weeks and months that follow the untimely and tragic death of his daughter Amy. 

In the wake of his loss, Rosenblatt and his wife are immersed in the daily chaos that his son-in-law faces with three children.  The author struggles with the void all the while trying to help the kids with theirs.  From acting as the tooth fairy to dealing with a toddler's perspective on death, this family finds itself not so much healing as facing the reality of the situation and moving along with it the best they can.

I was struck at how candid the account is.  Rosenblatt does not find solace in faith, but rather feels a deepening discourse with his spirituality.  The outcome is understandable, strange and oddly familiar in that I believe my reaction would be very similar to his.

Thoughtful account of author's tragic loss of a daughter.

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review by . May 11, 2010
This book is sparse. Short in length, and not overly wordy or dramatic. That makes each word, each scene, and each memory shared even more resonant.    When Roger Rosenblatt's daughter died suddenly, leaving a husband and three young children behind, he and his wife moved in with their son-in-law to help with the children. It's never addressed, but since the baby already had a nanny, I think that they are there to stand-in for their daughter. To be sure that she isn't forgotten, …
review by . March 07, 2010
This is a carefully constructed book, an elegiac, a memoir of grief, and yet, a memoir curiously distanced from emotion. Rosenblatt is a sympathetic figure for an author, a kindly and loving father who has just lost his daughter, but his story about his family after her death did not fully engage me.    The author is an accomplished writer, who tells us that he writes for famous magazines, publishes books, and teaches writing at Stony Brook. His sentence structure is skillful, …
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Jennifer ()
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Member Since: Jun 23, 2010
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Starred Review. Family tragedy is healed by domestic routine in this quiet, tender memoir. When his daughter Amy died suddenly at the age of 38 from an asymptomatic heart condition, journalist and novelist Rosen-blatt (Lapham Rising) and his wife moved into her house to help her husband care for their three young children. Not much happens except for the mundane, crucial duties of child care: reading stories, helping with schoolwork, chasing after an indefatigable toddler who is the busiest person I have ever known, making toast to order for finicky kids. Building on the small events of everyday life, Rosenblatt draws sharply etched portraits of his grandchildren; his stoic, gentle son-in-law; his wife, who feels slightly guilty that she is living her daughter's life; and Amy emerges as a smart, prickly, selfless figure whose significance the author never registered until her death. Rosenblatt avoids the sentimentality that might have weighed down the story; he writes with humor and an engagement with life that makes the occasional flashes of grief all the more telling. The result is a beautiful account of human loss, measured by the steady effort to fill in the void.(Feb. 16)
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ISBN-10: 006182593X
ISBN-13: 978-0061825934
Author: Roger Rosenblatt
Genre: Health, Mind & Body
Publisher: Ecco
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"a grief observed"
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