A young woman sits in jail, accused of the mercy killing of her dying mother. She didn't do it, but she thinks she knows who did. In the last months of her life, Ellen Gulden's mother revealed startling secrets that challenged everything Ellen believed about her family. Now, in jail, Ellen believes those secrets will tell her who had the courage to end her mother's suffering.
©1994 Anna Quindlen; (P)1995 Recorded Books
Don't listen to this while your driving unless you have a large pile of tissues nearby! This was my first book by Anna Quindlen; she is a beautifully descriptive writer. A few times I found myself really disliking the main character, and I'm not sure if that was the intended reaction; however, it was a touching and emotional story and I highly recommend this audiobook.
Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.
Anna Quindlen is a genius with words and using those words to describe family dynamics; she does this masterfully in One True Thing. It's a story about a daughter, Ellen, caring for her dying mother, Kathy Gulden, with a subplot about mercy killing, but it's Quindlen's writing skill that makes it far more than a simplistic page-turner. While caring for her mother, and even long after her mother's death, Ellen sheds her illusions about her family, and learns how to truly know and understand their personalities and not just their preconceived character traits that she has oversimplified. In the process, Ellen becomes a person "with a heart", and Quindlen explores this beautifully. I wish I had read this book ten years ago when my mother was in a similar situation; it has shown me that there were things I could have and should have done.
Very sad and too realistic.Good twist at the end. If you are trying to decide between this book and Every Last One (also by Anna Quindlen) I would go with Every Last One. In this book I feel like the narrator is a little tedious but very clear and understandable.
I listened to this after loosing my mother in December of 2009, at the age of 92. Although she did not die of cancer, I had to fight with her doctor to let her "die in peace". Her doctor wanted to "send her to the hospital" to do everything for her. Death with dignity has many levels. This is a subject that needs to be addressed.
I usually love Anna Quindlen but this book never got off the ground. Maybe it was the narrator, but I found the writing tedious, the character development shallow and ho-hum and had to force myself to keep going - hoping all the while that I'd come to that magic moment when sticking with it becomes worth the effort. That never happened. The topic could and should have provided a rich landscape for exploring the meaning of life and death, of families and how we create boxes for each other that do a disservice to all. But the whole thing fell flat. I wouldn't bother with this one.
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