The End of Your Life Book Club

IMG_5417Hi there reader friends–  When my friend, Jenni, handed me this book, along with a brief description, I had my doubts.  Seemed it could be a bit too maudlin, simperingly sentimental.  But I was wrong.

Mary Anne Schwalbe was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  She and her son Will, an editor at a NY publishing house, had always read, always talked over books.  But as they began to pass hours in waiting rooms and chemo sessions, they agreed to read books together and talk them through.  The conversations drew on the relevance of these stories to their own lives.  Stories of people facing life with bravery, relationships in families.

Along the way you find Mary Anne to be a remarkable woman, facing her life’s end with brisk honesty and continuing through it all with her extensive humanitarian works, pulling together resources for a large library project in Afghanistan.  She had been the dean of admissions at Harvard and a teacher still respected by students past.

This book was particularly intriguing to me because Mary Anne drew much on her Christian faith in this dire time.  Having read her story, I learned about facing death with grace and courage.  And from her son Will, how to respectfully and tenderly care for someone in that place in life.  As the book comes to it’s inevitable end, you’re thankful to have been able to share their lives through these years.  It’s a story I’ll long remember.

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