[Book Talk] The End Of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe

Book Details:

Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Read: November 2017


The inspiring story of a son and his dying mother, who form a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close.

Mary Anne Schwalbe is waiting for her chemotherapy treatments when Will casually asks her what she’s reading. The conversation they have grows into tradition: soon they are reading the same books so they can have something to talk about in the hospital waiting room. The ones they choose range from classic to popular, from fantastic to spiritual, and we hear their passion for reading and their love for each other in their intimate and searching discussions.

A profoundly moving testament to the power of love between a child and parent, and the power of reading in our lives.

My Thoughts

I bought this book while browsing through the bargain section of the bookstore (seriously, my favourite section) and it was one of those books that I had heard of but had no idea what it was about. And I had bought this before my determination to read more nonfiction so I was excited to dip my toes into it because I love anything that has to do with book clubs!

First off, this book is a great read, but very sad. It was the second book I was reading about someone dying and even though I loved all the discussions about the books Will and his mother would read (so many sounded so good!), it was so heavy and hard to read another book where you know one of the characters has passed on. It’s one thing to read about someone dying in fiction, but it’s a whole other thing to read about great characters who were real and alive when a book was written only to know that by the end of the book they’ll have passed.

I felt like Will Schwalbe did such a good job with this book and I loved reading about his and his mother’s book club. I especially loved when I’d come across a book I had read already and ones that were on my reading list. I loved their conversations and the subtle lessons that were passed on from mother to son. Mary Ann was such a strong person and she was so brave. I have such a hard time reading about death and coming to terms with it myself that books like this both scare me and make me feel stronger.

This was a lot of fun to read, despite the heavy topic, and I feel like Will did such a good job of telling his mother’s story. I was sad when the book was over and then I laughed when I saw the huge reading list at the end of the book! I will definitely be referring to that in the future – so many of the books they read sounded so good that I will be adding lots to my TBR for sure. Highly recommended!

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