Saturday, April 25, 2009

One True Thing :: Anna Quindlan


Of course, I finished this book before I realized it seemed familiar - it was made into a movie with Maryle Streep and Renee Zellweger, a movie I wanted to see. Anyways, I enjoyed the book.

The theme seems to bring the focus on a mother's unconditional love for me. A successful daughter is called home by the remote father to care for her mother who is dying of cancer. Ellen, the upwardly mobile 24-year-old, has always been like her father - going places, while her mother was a good mom - but at home, not a stereotype appreciated by Ellen. So to leave her life behind to stay home with mom is a chore. The chore turns into the best thing that has ever happened. Ellen realizes some areas of her life that need work, and forges an enviable relationship with her dying mother. A mother who she finally really sees clearly, perhaps for the first time. Ellen ultimately forgives (mom more than dad) both of her parents for their shortcomings and accepts their human-ness, my favorite quote::

Our parents are never people to us, never...
As a mother, this has become reality for me as my own occasionally defiant daughter doesn't see me as a person, as a human with the right to make mistakes. I didn't give my parents credit for being regular people either, until I was a mom - back in the day they were my parents, period. Two people who just don't understand. Remember that Fresh Prince song?

So the story ends, with a trial and a twist - you'll have to check it out to learn more. I recommend it.

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