Thursday, October 30, 2008

Souvenir

By Therese Fowler

Meg married Brian because his family was willing to write off the mortgage his family held against her family, nearly $400,000. She didn't love him but she was willing to wed him to keep her family from foreclosure. But to do so, she had to give up the love of her life, Carson. On her wedding morning, she visited Carson at his shack and they made love one last time. Despite his pleas, she went ahead with her plan to marry Brian. Carson never knew about the mortgage, he just thought Meg was after Brian's money.
Sixteen years later and Meg and Brian have a daughter, Savannah, who is just turning sixteen. Meg and Brian are still together, although their marriage is rather cold and superficial. Brian runs his own business and has a huge passion for golf. Meg has gotten a medical degree and has a thriving medical practice. She and Brian are so busy that Savannah is not supervised closely enough and ends up involved with a shady character online. *SPOILER ALERT* Things go from bad to worse when Megs finds out that she is rapidly dying of an incurable disease. She has to cope with her impending death, her unhappy marriage, Savannah's stupidity and with the reemergence into her life of her old love, Carson.

This is a real soap opera of a novel. I didn't really care much for it. For one thing, I don't like stories about sick people. That's just a personal preference. I also didn't like the ending of the novel, which I thought was the coward's way out.

I Feel Bad About My Neck

By Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron's mostly amusing look at growing older, this book is a collection of essays addressing such topics as ugly necks, finding the right purse, cooking, personal grooming, and so on, but looked at from the perspective of 65 years. Growing old is easy but coping with growing old sure isn't.
Mostly these are humorous essays, not to be taken very seriously, although there is one where she writes about the loss of a very dear friend that points out one of the worst things about growing old, the loss of those who mean so much in our lives. I suppose any book about growing old has to touch on death, has to have that one serious mediation. I could have done without it, though. Mostly, these are just funny essays to make a person chuckle which I enjoyed reading.
For another review, see the NY Times.