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Making Toast: A Family Story | [Roger Rosenblatt]

Making Toast: A Family Story

When his daughter, Amy—a gifted doctor, mother, and wife—collapsed and died from an asymptomatic heart condition, Roger Rosenblatt and his wife, Ginny, left their home on the South Shore of Long Island to move in with their son-in-law, Harris, and their three young grandchildren.
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Publisher's Summary

When his daughter, Amy—a gifted doctor, mother, and wife—collapsed and died from an asymptomatic heart condition, Roger Rosenblatt and his wife, Ginny, left their home on the South Shore of Long Island to move in with their son-in-law, Harris, and their three young grandchildren.

With the wit, heart, precision, and depth of understanding that has characterized his work, Roger Rosenblatt peels back the layers on this most personal of losses to create both a tribute to his late daughter and a testament to familial love. The day Amy died, Harris told Ginny and Roger, “It’s impossible.” Rosenblatt’s story tells how a family makes the possible out of the impossible.

©2010 Roger Rosenblatt (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A painfully beautiful memoir telling how grandparents are made over into parents, how people die out of order, how time goes backwards. Written with such restraint as to be both heartbreaking and instructive.” (E. L. Doctorow)

“[A] beautiful account of human loss, measured by the steady effort to fill in the void.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"[A]n exquisite, reserved little memoir…." (National Public Radio)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (237 )
5 star
 (55)
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3.3 (148 )
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Story
3.6 (150 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Diana - Audible Oradell, NJ, United States 04-17-12
    Diana - Audible Oradell, NJ, United States 04-17-12 Member Since 2005

    "Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." --Lemony Snicket

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A little gem of a book"

    Yes, this is a sad story, but it is so lovingly told by Rosenblatt that it's worth the listen. The author handles the heavy topics of death and grief gracefully, weaving daily household tasks into this memoir of survival in the face of a family tragedy. I may be a bit partial to this story because I can relate to it more than I'd like, but found this tribute to Rosenblatt's daughter and her children very moving.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Perlroth, Portola Valley, CA, United States 09-11-10
    Perlroth, Portola Valley, CA, United States 09-11-10 Member Since 2010
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    "A personal tribute to his daughter"

    Nice prose. Personal dedication. A paean to a suddenly deceased daughter. Anger transfigured into grand-parental caring and self-sacrifice and poorly submerged anger with fate and God and justice.

    A touching, if over-long tribute.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Milwaukie, OR, United States 11-29-13
    Kristi Milwaukie, OR, United States 11-29-13 Member Since 2011

    An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.

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    "Poignant true life story of death's aftermath"
    What did you love best about Making Toast?

    The story was sad. A young woman dies of an unknown heart issue and leaves a husband and 3 young children. The grandparent's move in and help raise their grandkids.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked Harris, the husband the best. He isn't in the story much but when he is it's great. When the Grandpa complains about interference from someone outside of the family, Harris just gives him a look that says it all. I hope he is able to move on some day and perhaps remarry. Too young to have lost the love of your life.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It's always hard when an author reads their own book, but he does a good job. He lived it and it shows.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I did listen to this while making Thanksgiving dinner. I was very involved in the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Kudos to these grandparents. I don't know if I could do what they have done. I am about the same age but would not want to raise anymore children at this stage in my life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shirley Oakland, TN, United States 03-29-11
    Shirley Oakland, TN, United States 03-29-11 Member Since 2007
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    "abrupt ending"

    Very good read but the end was abrupt. I wish the author could have finished the ending of this true, sad story, without such abruptness.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Madison, WI, United States 02-15-11
    Joan Madison, WI, United States 02-15-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Gentle and beautiful"

    Roger Rosenblatt's record of his family's pain and strength after his daughter's sudden death is full of wisdom. It's a good reminder of what matters, and a beautiful story of a family moving on well (because it's the only good choice they have before them), while cherishing stories and memories.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Ann Orlansky Northampton, MA, USA 07-06-14
    Ruth Ann Orlansky Northampton, MA, USA 07-06-14 Member Since 2009

    Audiobook Afficionado

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    Story
    "What? No Warts at All?"

    First of all, let me start off by saying that, unlike some of the other reviewers, I did not find the book overlong or disorganized. I did, at times, have a little trouble keeping track of the chronology, but I took it as it came because I saw the book as a set of "short stories" rather than a memoir. And I thought that the author, Roger Rosenblatt, Amy's father, was far and away the best narrator.

    Yet I find the reminiscences to be overly idealized at best and sugarcoated at worst.

    What came through loud and clear was how precious Amy Rosenblatt Solomon was to her father, her mother, her husband, her extended family, and all of her many friends, and how deeply she was missed. And I'm sure that her good qualities far outweighed her bad. But still...

    I know it is bad form to speak ill of the dead, but I also think Roger Rosenblatt did Amy a great disservice by turning her into an unvarnished, untarnished Saint. I think she would have been a lot more humanized if her father had recollected her having an occasional meltdown, or making a snide remark, or being in some other situation in which she was not at the top of her game.

    And, surely her children were extremely traumatized by her death, yet, while the two older ones were seeing a child psychologist to work through their feelings, everything was depicted as "fine, fine." Their schoolwork didn't suffer, and they didn't seem to suffer more than the usual childhood kinks.

    Her husband, as well, was deeply wounded, but I didn't hear much about that, either.

    I think this extended essay was a form of therapy for Mr. Rosenblatt, and I guess he didn't want to violate anyone's privacy, but why publish it if you are not going to present a well-rounded narrative?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PJ Reader Midwest USA 01-26-14
    PJ Reader Midwest USA 01-26-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Making Toast - A very scattered memoir"

    My deepest sympathies to anyone who has lost an adult child.
    This memoir/story was a sad retelling of memories and the grandchildren moving on. The author didn't focus on any subject for more than 60 seconds. His thoughts were scattered and disconnected.
    The family obviously has great wealth, knows many famous people and lead privileged lives. Death and grief visited them none-the-less. His tone gave the impression that they should be exempted from such tragedy.
    The book had a few redeeming points, but the bragging of their accomplishments; possessions; and position overshadowed them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jami VICTOR, NY, United States 01-21-14
    Jami VICTOR, NY, United States 01-21-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Difficult Topic"

    I liked this short memoir about the death of the author's daughter and the new family that they created. It reminded me a bit of how my dad, sister and I ended up living together after my mother died - it was a different type of arrangement for us, but it worked. I liked seeing how this family came together and altered their living arrangements to create a new family unit. I listened to the audible version; the author read the book, which I thought was quite fitting. Many people don't like when the authors read their books and some authors should never read their books. But in this case, it worked; after all, it is his story to tell.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa NAMPA, ID, United States 12-13-13
    Teresa NAMPA, ID, United States 12-13-13 Member Since 2011

    Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.

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    "Life goes on."

    Thanks Audible for the freebie. Although sad the story is an okay listen. Story is from the grandfathers point of view after his daughter dies and he helps to raise his grandchildren. I don't usually go for the sob stories but I downloaded this story since it was free. This book takes you through day to day life without a love one. Easy to listen to, but I won't ever reread it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Hillsborough, CA, United States 12-12-13
    Chris Hillsborough, CA, United States 12-12-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Touching Memoir"

    Moving account of a family's tragic loss of a beloved daughter. Mr. Rosenblatt's calm, even narration of what had to have been an incredibly painful experience was remarkable. His writing style is both simple and gracious. He chronicles events after his daughter's sudden death: how he and his wife stepped right in and smoothly as they could helped their grief-stricken son-in-law cope with life and their 3 small children. He speaks freely of his and his family's pain, help from wonderful people in their lives, and also stories and events from his children's early lives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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