Ending: A Novel by Hilma Wolitzer

Hilma Wolitzer’s acclaimed first novel—a powerful portrait of a family coming to terms with grief
At night, Sandy feels the pain of separation most deeply. As she settles into bed, she misses the sounds Jay used to make as he emptied his pockets and undressed. She misses the way a playful nighttime conversation could become significant in an instant. She misses his touch. To fall asleep, she imagines Jay’s voice, imagines their loving exchanges—but she cannot imagine lying in his arms.
Jay is in the hospital now, his body wasting away from cancer. As the disease progresses, he and Sandy try to come to terms with the fact that he will never come home again—and that his children will soon lose their father forever. Poignant and raw, Ending is a finely rendered look at love, loss, and survival.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Hilma Wolitzer, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

This book is listed as a novel, but I can’t help wonder how much is based on reality. I find it hard to believe that the author was able to bring the reader into the experience without having experienced it herself in real life.

Having worked in a personal care home at one point, I have watched families deal with palliative care and watching their loved ones die. I cannot imagine the pain of having to leave a suffering family member behind for weeks on end while attempting to carry on one’s life as if nothing is wrong. The author did an amazing job putting the reader in the position where they can experience of dealing with the realities a dying partner, especially when there are children involved.

While every grieves differently, grief in itself is the same for everyone and the author gets that message across very clearly in this compassionate love story.

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