Bettyville: Book summary and reviews of Bettyville by George Hodgman

Bettyville

A Memoir

by George Hodgman

Bettyville by George Hodgman
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2015
    288 pages
    Genre: Biographies/Memoirs

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Book Summary

When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can't bring himself to force her from the home both treasure - the place where his father's voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay.

As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty's life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town - crumbling but still colorful - to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman's debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son's return.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A tender, resolute look at a place, literal and figurative, baby boomers might find themselves." - Booklist

"Movingly honest, at times droll, and ultimately poignant." - Kirkus

"This is an emotionally honest portrayal of a son's secrets and his unending devotion to his mother." - Publishers Weekly

"Bettyville is an exquisitely written memoir about the complicated but deeply genuine love a son feels for his courageous, headstrong, vulnerable mother in the twilight of her life. George Hodgman is stunningly clear-eyed and yet so darned big-hearted." - Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle

"Bettyville is a beautifully crafted memoir, rich with humor and wisdom. George Hodgman has created an unforgettable book about mothers and sons, and about the challenges that come with growing older and growing up." - Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club

"Beyond the humor and the pathos, the quotidian and the bizarre, there remain profound lessons about life and love that I will carry away." - Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

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George Hodgman is a veteran magazine and book editor who has worked at Simon & Schuster, Vanity Fair, and Talk magazine. His writing has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Interview, W, and Harper's Bazaar, among other publications. He lives in New York City and Paris, Missouri.

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