“What are you reading?” is the question that officially opens the book club of Will Schwalbe and his mother Mary Anne. An exclusive club with only two members that gets together at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, whenever Will accompanies Mary Anne for her chemotherapy sessions.
Mary Anne led a life full of commitments, obligations, voluntary work and books, and it is during those last months of her life that she gets to share them with her son.
This book appeared in my Kindle a couple of years ago, when my dad bought it for his Kindle. The title looked promising, but whenever I thought about reading the book, another one got in the way and demanded to be read more urgently.
It wasn’t until last April when I found myself sitting on a train with four hours ahead, that I grabbed my Kindle and opened the End of Your Life Book Club.
Supposedly, Will and Anne discuss some of the books that marked and changed their lives, but it wasn’t until I had read a few pages, that I realized the book wasn’t so much about books or life in general. It was a book about Mary Anne and the love and devotion that her son felt towards her.
There’s no way of denying it: the woman was brave and strong and kind and admirable. However, at some point, the author started using one paragraph of ten pages long chapter to talk about a specific book and the rest to talk about his mom’s greatness. It was almost as if he was trying to convince us readers that his mom was amazing, instead of letting us get to that conclusion on our own. I got tired of that really early on the reading.
I finished it quickly. It wasn’t a difficult read, and I also added a few books to my to-read list because of it, but this is not a book I would usually recommend.