One of the best books I’ve read in the last year is Zoe FitzGerald Carter’s IMPERFECT ENDINGS, a memoir about a mother who decides, after years of stuggling with Parkinson’s, to end her life. While this might seem depressing or gruesome, Imperfect Endings is in fact tender, wise, and occasionally funny. The moral fog that Zoe and her sisters had to navigate–not to mention all of the emotional history of an entire life’s worth of dealing with a difficult, wonderful, flinty, gloriously mercurial mother–feels like familiar, tremendously affecting territory. How DO we help our loved ones when it’s clear that their lives have become a source of sadness and pain? For a loving child, what are the right choices for a parent who truly wants to end her life? For that matter, what does “helping” mean?
This terrain, I suspect, is ground that more and more of us will find ourselves treading in years to come. Zoe’s a friend of mine, so do know that this gush-a-thon comes from a not disinterested party. But I loved this book. I suspect lots of my readers will love it too.