Like many of us currently trapped at home, I’m reevaluating what I need or want. Nothing like having to pick up after a three year old whose greatest joy is to undo all his parents’ work to want to reduce the number of things entropy incarnate can rearrange. So that means that in addition to my full bookcase of unread books getting their time to shine, the box of books that I pulled from my bookshelf to reread and reassess their keep-ability is in the rotation too.
I bough this book based on a local store’s staff recommendation shelf and promptly forgot about it after completing it, but it’s surprising how much I retained without being able to tell you where it had come from. Daum’s assertion that “to have an old dog is to look into the eyes of the sweetest soul you know and see traces of the early light of the worst day of your life” is something I’ve paraphrased for many a grieving pet owner while not remembering how to find the exact quote or who the author was. Her writing about her mother’s death also stayed with me in that nebulous way that universal experiences do – blending together with many similar stories of frayed parent-child relationships and the reversal of caregiver roles.
The last chapter in particular was kind of a “holy shit” moment upon re-read, Daum’s account of nearly dying from meningitis brought on by an infection from a tick registered lightly upon first reading, but after having had nearly the same experience from a post partum infection, revisiting it a decade or so later was surreal. Was this familiar from my memory of the first read, or from my own similar experience?
In any case, while the book was worth reading, and even the re-read, to the resale pile this goes.