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How to Forget

A Daughter's Memoir
Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (117 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this profoundly honest and examined memoir about returning to Iowa to care for her ailing parents, the star of Orange Is the New Black and best-selling author of Born with Teeth takes us on an unexpected journey of loss, betrayal, and the transcendent nature of a daughter’s love for her parents.

They say you can’t go home again. But when her father is diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer and her mother with atypical Alzheimer’s, New York-based actress Kate Mulgrew returns to her hometown in Iowa to spend time with her parents and care for them in the time they have left.

The months Kate spends with her parents in Dubuque - by turns turbulent, tragic, and joyful - lead her to reflect on each of their lives and how they shaped her own. Those ruminations are transformed when, in the wake of their deaths, Kate uncovers long-kept secrets that challenge her understanding of the unconventional Irish Catholic household in which she was raised.

Breathtaking and powerful, laced with the author’s irreverent wit, How to Forget is a considered portrait of a mother and a father, an emotionally powerful memoir that demonstrates how love fuses children and parents, and an honest examination of family, memory, and indelible loss.

©2019 Kate Mulgrew (P)2019 HarperAudio

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Average Customer Ratings

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Dr. Kate Mulgrew articulates end-of-life relationships fluently

As professional as her acting & as entrancing as her characters “Captain Katherine Janeway” in Star Trek & “Red” in Orange is the New Black, Dr. Kate Mulgrew’s superb writing weaves the threads of past relationships with the complexities of grown sibling & parental-offspring realities. She amazingly articulates end-of-life relationships fluently so that the listener both can relate & learn. Well written & performed.
~Dr. Chris Patricia Hafner*
(*Hafner-Eaton, 1986-2016)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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such a fantastic book. Kate.....you are great!!!

I loved born with teeth. I loved how to forget. Amazingly truthful. Amazingly real. I could listen to you narrate the phone book! Please, write another book!!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • wd
  • 06-01-19

A beautiful, touching story

I listen to a lot of books and am rarely moved to write a review. This book is truly touching and beautiful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Raw <br />

Kate Mulgrew writes and narrates her intimate memories of family during personal,emotional, heartbreaking times. The care and loss of her parents, the struggles between siblings. and the love and support of those closest.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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very absorbing story

This was an amazing experience.I especially thought the description of her mother's decent into alshiemers was,while sad and painful to hear, something you don't realize happening within a family setting. The way this awful disease affects not only the patient but also the family members was described so well.As with her first book,this is probably going to be a re-read for me. I enjoyed it very much.

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Mesmerizing!

I could listen to Kate Mulgrew all day... her voice is similar to a soothing lullaby accompanied by intriguing vocabulary and a heartfelt perspective of love, family, relationships, and life.

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  • J. Moreno
  • Medford, OR United States
  • 06-20-19

Beautifully told.

I could so relate. It's so difficult to lose our parents, but the slow long goodbye forced on us by Alzheimer's is agony. She captured perfectly all the emotions and struggles a daughter must go through when this happens in a family. I'm only jealous that she had siblings to share it with. A beautiful tribute to her family. Thank you for sharing your story.

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Steph M

Heartwarming, touching, and funny. A story about relationships, family, but most importantly love. You will laugh and you will cry. What a delight to have it read brilliantly by the author.

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Fierce, Poignant and Inspirational

This second offering by Kate Mulgrew is fierce in its honesty. She once again lays bare a part of her life so poignantly. Every person will be able to identify with this interesting and beautiful story of her parents journey and how she and her siblings have been shaped by both of them. Her writing inspires you to marvel at her strength and resolve, letting you know if she can bear the intolerable, you can too. As always, I am looking forward to her next writing endeavor.

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Riveting, heart breaking, and loving.

I have always loved Kate Mulgrew. I think she is one hell of a person, woman, actress, and now writer. This memoir was read beautifully by her and she could not have done a better job. You could hear the emotion in her voice as she unfolded the story of the happiness, heartbreak, sibling rivalry, and a family coming together after such tragic loss. I am not a huge memoir reader/listener because the writer has never been able to keep me interested. Yet, this is the best memoir I had the privilege to listen to. I know of Kate Mulgrew best as Captain Katheryn Janeway, Star Trek Voyager. I will be bringing a copy to the Star Trek cruise so she can sign it in person. Oh what I would give to sit down with her over a drink. This book helps her fans understand who she is underneath her roles as an actress. If you want a story that makes you think about your own family, then this is for you.

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  • mr s j w dax
  • 06-15-19

A worthy follow up to Born With Teeth

Beautifully written and honest look at one’s parents. Looking honestly at their struggles there triumphs, faults and strengths. And a child’s relationship with their parents over a lifetime and coming to terms with losing the ones they love. Well worth listening too.