Our Short History

Our Short History

Book - 2017
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"Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's bigger--and stronger--than before." --Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You

How can a woman learn to let go of the people she loves the most?

Karen Neulander, a successful New York political consultant and single mother, has always been fiercely protective of her son, Jacob, now six. She's had to be: when Jacob's father, Dave, found out Karen was pregnant and made it clear that fatherhood wasn't in his plans, Karen walked out of the relationship, never telling Dave her intention was to raise their child alone.

But now Jake is asking to meet his dad, and with good reason: Karen is dying. When she finally calls her ex, she's shocked to find Dave ecstatic about the son he never knew he had. First, he can't meet Jake fast enough, and then he can't seem to leave him alone. Karen quickly grows anxious as she watches Dave insinuate himself into Jake's life just as her own strength and hold on Jake grow more tenuous.

As she struggles to play out her last days in the "right" way for Jake, Karen wrestles with the knowledge that the only thing she cannot bring herself to do for her son--let his father become a permanent part of his life--is the thing he needs from her the most. With heart-wrenching poignancy, unexpected wit, and mordant humor, Lauren Grodstein has created an unforgettable story about parenthood, sacrifice, and life itself.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, ©2017.
ISBN: 9781616206222
Characteristics: 342 pages ;,24 cm.


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Jun 23, 2017

I gave this book 5 stars. Warning, it's sad. A mother who is dying from ovarian cancer finally contacts her 6 year old son's father. Her son's name is Jacob, Jake for short. When she became pregnant and told her child's father, he was appalled! He was not at a time in his life where he wanted a child etc. etc. She was broken hearted and walked out of his life. But now her child wants to know about his father, so she contacts him and, guess what? Now he is ecstatic at the news that he has a son! All of this book is actually the woman actually writing a "book" (I would call it more of a journal) to be given to her son when he is 18 or older. She writes down how she feels about her on coming death....sometimes she is still in denial and sometimes she is facing it head on. Also, how mixed up she is about her son's father becoming a part of Jake's life. She is still very bitter and angry at the father's reaction when she tells him she is pregnant...and, by the way, she really, REALLY loved the man. (no he was not a married man). As a Mother myself, I cannot even imagine having to write a "farewell" book to one of my children when they were young. Especially with the circumstances being what they were with Jake's father. Anyway, this book is sad, but still a beautiful story.

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