At just past 70, Alex Witchel’s smart, adoring, ultra-capable mother began to exhibit undeniable signs of dementia. Witchel reacted as she’d been raised: If something was broken, she would fix it. But as medical reality undid that hope, she retreated to the kitchen, trying to reclaim the mother who was disappearing in plain sight, by cooking the comforting foods that were her mother’s signature.
Reproducing the perfect meat loaf was no panacea, but it helped a grieving daughter come to terms with her predicament, the growing phenomenon of "ambiguous loss" - loss of a beloved one who lives on. Gradually Witchel developed a deeper appreciation for all the ways the mother she was losing lived on in her, starting with the daily commandment - "Tell me everything that happened today" - that set a future reporter and writer on her path. And she was inspired to turn her experience into this bittersweet account that offers true balm for an increasingly familiar form of heartbreak.
What made the experience of listening to All Gone the most enjoyable?
This book hit a very personal note for me. My mother suffered from dementia. She passed away this year and this book was actually comforting. I could really relate to the relationship the author had with her mother and thought the book was very well written and not overly sentimental.
What did you like best about this story?
The relationship between mother and daughter.
What about Alex Witchel’s performance did you like?
It felt her performance was very genuine and engaging.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Cherish the love of the people who mean the most to you.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
It seems that lately a crop of women of a certain age are now writing memoirs. They're all famously successful in one sort of publishing gig or another, or they're celebrities, or gofers for celebrities, whatever. They claim to be workaholics but yet they all seem to have light years of free time to cook. Which includes shopping for the ingredients, bringing them home, putting them away until needed, even shopping for cookbooks. I simultaneously envy and hate these women...how do they work a 10-hour day and then put together a 5-course meal for someone who just dropped in??!!!
I've never looked to food and cooking for solace, probably why I can't relate, but this book is really 5 hours of "refreshments" with some dementia thrown in. And there are way too many recipes. I hated that the last part of every chapter, usually about 5-10 minutes or so, was wasted on recipes. Please, Audible, don't waste any more of my time and money with recipes!!! At least these culinary diversions were consistently placed so I could fast-forward to the next chapter.
This book gets one star for "story" because it includes the secret ingredient for meat loaf.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful