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Her Last Death: A Memoir

by

Her Last Death: A Memoir Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Her Last Death begins as the phone rings early one morning in the Montana house where Susanna Sonnenberg lives with her husband and two young sons. Her aunt is calling to tell Susanna her mother is in a coma after a car accident. She might not live. Any daughter would rush the thousands of miles to her mother's bedside. But Susanna cannot bring herself to go. Her courageous memoir explains why.

Glamorous, charismatic and a compulsive liar, Susanna's mother seduced everyone who entered her orbit. With outrageous behavior and judgment tinged by drug use, she taught her child the art of sex and the benefits of lying. Susanna struggled to break out of this compelling world, determined, as many daughters are, not to become her mother.

Sonnenberg mines tender and startling memories as she writes of her fierce resolve to forge her independence, to become a woman capable of trust and to be a good mother to her own children. Her Last Death is riveting, disarming and searingly beautiful.

Review:

"Sonnenberg's curse is her beautiful self-centered and crazy mother, who lies continually, does drugs and navigates through the world with sex as her sole point of reference. Her father is cold and distant. Add in abundant family money, and you have the story of a young girl who grows up in a world of privilege, abuse and despicable behavior all around. Readers get a good dose of drug use, foul language, manipulative behaviors, an accounting of Sonnenberg's affair with her high school English teacher and one chapter titled 'Sex with Everybody.' The freelance writer's story is titillating, and her writing is strong and clear, though the power is diluted when she blurs the lines of nonfiction: 'I have conflated or changed some events and dialogue, and created occasional composites.' Readers not bothered by the conceit will likely follow along through the outrageous and nasty operational tactics of Sonnenberg's mother until the story line leads to her redemption." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Reading 'Her Last Death' by Susanna Sonnenberg has been like spending three days in a monkey house. Sonnenberg, who says she changed all names but her own in this freaky memoir, explains why, when her mother lay in a coma after a terrible car accident and was 'probably going to die,' Susanna, herself a loving mother of two beautiful boys and wife to an honest husband, living an intensely plain, minimum-wage... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[T]he wonder of this memoir is that the author survived her traumatic childhood and found a way of turning her memories into a fiercely observed, fluently written book that captures the chaos and confusions of her youth." Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Review:

"Tragic but arresting — a worthy companion to Simone de Beauvoir's and Vivian Gornick's explorations of the complicated mother-daughter dynamic." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"An irresistible book that is shimmering with life and the portrait of a glorious, frenzied, seductive woman who of necessity has been left, along with Susanna Sonnenberg's young womanhood, behind. Her mother." James Salter, author of Last Night and Burning the Days

Review:

"There's shame in these pages, and an artful floundering for acceptance and understanding. Also, as in her tender memory of her mother scooping her shivering, 3-year-old body out of the bathtub and wrapping her tight in a warm towel, there's beauty." (Grade: B+) Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Her Last Death is an emotional thriller. It is a manual for men and smart, searching individuals of any age or economic levels. For most of the book it is a disturbing story, yet at the end you might feel like cheering. It is a beautiful, beautiful book and I plan to give it to my nearest and dearest." Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes and Teacher Man

Review:

"Riveting, sexy, smart, and brazenly honest, Her Last Death is a memoir that demands and rewards total immersion. I couldn't put it down, didn't want to, and was sorry when it was over. Susanna Sonnenberg is a wonderful writer, and this is a marvelous debut." John Burnham Schwartz, author of Reservation Road and Claire Marvel

Synopsis:

A searing, beautifully written, and compulsively readable memoir by a daughter who grew up with a narcissistic and addictive mother. Sonnenberg mines her painful and often startling memories as she examines her struggle to break free of her mothers all-consuming influence.

Synopsis:

Her Last Death begins as the phone rings early one morning in the Montana house where Susanna Sonnenberg lives with her husband and two young sons. Her aunt is calling to tell Susanna her mother is in a coma after a car accident. She might not live. Any daughter would rush the thousands of miles to her mother's bedside. But Susanna cannot bring herself to go. Her courageous memoir explains why.

Glamorous, charismatic and a compulsive liar, Susanna's mother seduced everyone who entered her orbit. With outrageous behavior and judgment tinged by drug use, she taught her child the art of sex and the benefits of lying. Susanna struggled to break out of this compelling world, determined, as many daughters are, not to become her mother.

Sonnenberg mines tender and startling memories as she writes of her fierce resolve to forge her independence, to become a woman capable of trust and to be a good mother to her own children. Her Last Death is riveting, disarming and searingly beautiful.

About the Author

Susanna Sonnenberg was born in London in 1965 and grew up in New York. Her essays have appeared in Elle, O, the Oprah Magazine and Parenting, among other magazines. She lives in Montana with her husband and two sons.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743291095
Author:
Sonnenberg, Susanna
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Mothers and daughters
Subject:
Problem families
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Susanna Sonnenberg, She Matters, mother, grief, traumatic childhood, Daphne, Mother Daughter relationships, Manhattan, cocaine, inappropriate mother, crazy mother, drugs, pathological liar, sex, womanhood, dysfunctional family, unhappy childhood
Subject:
Susanna Sonnenberg, She Matters, mother, grief, traumatic childhood, Daphne, Mother Daughter relationships, Manhattan, cocaine, inappropriate mother, crazy mother, drugs, pathological liar, sex, womanhood, dysfunctional family, unhappy childhood
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20081031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8 x 5.25 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Biography » Women
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Biographies
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Memoirs
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Relationships

Her Last Death: A Memoir Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780743291095 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Sonnenberg's curse is her beautiful self-centered and crazy mother, who lies continually, does drugs and navigates through the world with sex as her sole point of reference. Her father is cold and distant. Add in abundant family money, and you have the story of a young girl who grows up in a world of privilege, abuse and despicable behavior all around. Readers get a good dose of drug use, foul language, manipulative behaviors, an accounting of Sonnenberg's affair with her high school English teacher and one chapter titled 'Sex with Everybody.' The freelance writer's story is titillating, and her writing is strong and clear, though the power is diluted when she blurs the lines of nonfiction: 'I have conflated or changed some events and dialogue, and created occasional composites.' Readers not bothered by the conceit will likely follow along through the outrageous and nasty operational tactics of Sonnenberg's mother until the story line leads to her redemption." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[T]he wonder of this memoir is that the author survived her traumatic childhood and found a way of turning her memories into a fiercely observed, fluently written book that captures the chaos and confusions of her youth."
"Review" by , "Tragic but arresting — a worthy companion to Simone de Beauvoir's and Vivian Gornick's explorations of the complicated mother-daughter dynamic."
"Review" by , "An irresistible book that is shimmering with life and the portrait of a glorious, frenzied, seductive woman who of necessity has been left, along with Susanna Sonnenberg's young womanhood, behind. Her mother."
"Review" by , "There's shame in these pages, and an artful floundering for acceptance and understanding. Also, as in her tender memory of her mother scooping her shivering, 3-year-old body out of the bathtub and wrapping her tight in a warm towel, there's beauty." (Grade: B+)
"Review" by , "Her Last Death is an emotional thriller. It is a manual for men and smart, searching individuals of any age or economic levels. For most of the book it is a disturbing story, yet at the end you might feel like cheering. It is a beautiful, beautiful book and I plan to give it to my nearest and dearest."
"Review" by , "Riveting, sexy, smart, and brazenly honest, Her Last Death is a memoir that demands and rewards total immersion. I couldn't put it down, didn't want to, and was sorry when it was over. Susanna Sonnenberg is a wonderful writer, and this is a marvelous debut."
"Synopsis" by , A searing, beautifully written, and compulsively readable memoir by a daughter who grew up with a narcissistic and addictive mother. Sonnenberg mines her painful and often startling memories as she examines her struggle to break free of her mothers all-consuming influence.
"Synopsis" by , Her Last Death begins as the phone rings early one morning in the Montana house where Susanna Sonnenberg lives with her husband and two young sons. Her aunt is calling to tell Susanna her mother is in a coma after a car accident. She might not live. Any daughter would rush the thousands of miles to her mother's bedside. But Susanna cannot bring herself to go. Her courageous memoir explains why.

Glamorous, charismatic and a compulsive liar, Susanna's mother seduced everyone who entered her orbit. With outrageous behavior and judgment tinged by drug use, she taught her child the art of sex and the benefits of lying. Susanna struggled to break out of this compelling world, determined, as many daughters are, not to become her mother.

Sonnenberg mines tender and startling memories as she writes of her fierce resolve to forge her independence, to become a woman capable of trust and to be a good mother to her own children. Her Last Death is riveting, disarming and searingly beautiful.

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