Excerpt from The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Discuss |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The End of Your Life Book Club

by Will Schwalbe

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2012, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2013, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


I did manage to talk with my brother and sister, their spouses, and Dad (now out of the hospital and fully recovered), and David. All of us were saying hopeful things to each other: there was cause for alarm but no reason to panic. And yet the calls were exponential—every conversation was relayed to everyone else, leading to ever more calls, calls upon calls, calls about calls. We all spent time on the Web and read the same grim things about this particularly vicious cancer. But there were more tests to be done. It was still early. There was a lot to learn. No one should jump to any conclusions.

"Are you sure I shouldn't come home right away, Mom?" I asked each time when I spoke to her from the trip.

"Don't be silly," she said. "Enjoy yourself." In one conversation, she finally relayed exactly how she got the news - and talked about the first oncologist she'd visited, to whom she and my sister had taken an instant dislike when he'd asked Mom if she worked outside the home. Mom said to me, "Do you think a doctor would ever ask a man that?" She told me that Nina had been amazing - organizing, arranging, asking all the right questions. My sister had spent years working in Soviet Russia and had learned there how to push when necessary.

"The lesson of all of this ... " Mom began, and then paused. I waited. I couldn't imagine what the lesson was."The lesson is this," she continued."Relief organizations need to tell people who have gone on trips to places like Afghanistan not to assume that any sickness they get while there or after is related to the trip. It may just be a coincidence. We need to make sure people understand that."

This was the silver lining? A new protocol for humanitarian aid workers returning from overseas trips to exotic locales?

"Also, I have a favor to ask," Mom added. "Bring me back a wonderful book from the book fair. And your father could use a new book too."

I grabbed too many books to carry home and then tried to figure out which I would put in my luggage and which I would mail, but all I could think about was whether things could have been different if we'd made Mom see more doctors earlier, or whether, perhaps, she'd had an appointment in Samarra and nothing could have changed that.

Excerpted from The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. Copyright © 2012 by Will Schwalbe. Excerpted by permission of Knopf. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Women's Refugee Commission

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Ghachar Ghochar
    by Vivek Shanbhag
    The Bengaluru (aka Bangalore) that has dominated economic news headlines over the past decade is the...
  • Book Jacket: Caught in the Revolution
    Caught in the Revolution
    by Helen Rappaport
    So taken were BookBrowse's First Impression reviewers by the inside look at the start of the Russian...
  • Book Jacket: Hillbilly Elegy
    Hillbilly Elegy
    by J.D. Vance
    In this illuminating memoir, Vance recounts his trajectory from growing up a "hillbilly" in ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Lola
    by Melissa Scrivner Love

    An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Our Short History
    by Lauren Grodstein

    Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's stronger, than before.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

I like a thin book because it will steady a table...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -