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Her Last Death: A Memoir By Susanna Sonnenberg,

  • Title: Her Last Death: A Memoir
  • Author: Susanna Sonnenberg
  • ISBN: 9780743291095
  • Page: 316
  • Format: Paperback
  • Her Last Death begins as the phone rings early one morning in the Montana house where Susanna Sonnenberg lives with her husband and two young sons Her aunt is calling to tell Susanna her mother is in a coma after a car accident She might not live Any daughter would rush the thousands of miles to her mother s bedside But Susanna cannot bring herself to go Her courageouHer Last Death begins as the phone rings early one morning in the Montana house where Susanna Sonnenberg lives with her husband and two young sons Her aunt is calling to tell Susanna her mother is in a coma after a car accident She might not live Any daughter would rush the thousands of miles to her mother s bedside But Susanna cannot bring herself to go Her courageous memoir explains why.Glamorous, charismatic and a compulsive liar, Susanna s mother seduced everyone who entered her orbit With outrageous behavior and judgment tinged by drug use, she taught her child the art of sex and the benefits of lying Susanna struggled to break out of this compelling world, determined, as many daughters are, not to become her mother.Sonnenberg mines tender and startling memories as she writes of her fierce resolve to forge her independence, to become a woman capable of trust and to be a good mother to her own children Her Last Death is riveting, disarming and searingly beautiful.
    Her Last Death A Memoir Her Last Death begins as the phone rings early one morning in the Montana house where Susanna Sonnenberg lives with her husband and two young sons Her aunt is calling to tell Susanna her mother is in

    One thought on “Her Last Death: A Memoir”

    1. So you think you had a difficult mother This memorist s mom an intoxicating and intoxicated coke addicted, sex obsessed, narcissistic, party girl and ridiculously irresponsible parent who hits on her daughter s boyfriends, among other things takes the cake But midway through the book which not only details mom s sexual excesses but the writer s I grew increasingly irritated Just why did she write this peep show of a memoir and why was I reading it Judging from a favorable NYT review I skimmed, t [...]

    2. I found this memoir to be very self indulgent I actually didn t believe the majority of the stories that the author relayed about her life I found myself rolling my eyes a lot while reading The author complained a LOT about how her mother lied to her throughout her life She complained about how her mother s mania caused her to be choppy and hard to follow in conversations I think both criticisms could be applied to the author herself.The author had quite the high opinion of herself very proud of [...]

    3. I should have put this down after the first few pages I felt an absolute kick to the gut that can only be explained by deep understanding Ms Sonnenberg could have been writing about my life, my feelings and my mother.My mother, while not a drug addict or as overtly promiscious, rivals Daphne in her inabilty to share I was tickled by the bad reviews of this story and I can only guess that those who grew up in an environment where safety and love are related have trouble comprehending a home where [...]

    4. I wanted to like this book I m interested in well written memoirs and I enjoy a good backstory of drugs and other nefarious activities And I did like the book at first, but somewhere in the middle I found myself increasingly put off She paints her story with sex, sex, sex, sex, drugs, mom did this to me, sex, sex, sex It s exhausting and, while I like her writing style, I found her to be indulgent and than a little self righteous and mean For instance, she and her husband get a puppy Puppy misb [...]

    5. In HER LAST DEATH, Susanna Sonnenberg achieves what I believe the very best memoirs can accomplish She paints a vivid, living picture, not just of a life but of her relationship with her manic but unbalanced mother, and she does so with prejudice and personal perspective Memoir is not autobiography at its very best, the genre tells us not the facts and objective observation of the events Memoir takes us into the heart of the author s experience, and it is its very subjectivity that gives it powe [...]

    6. I read several different books at the same time, alternating back and forth through the day and the week depending on my mood I picked up Her Last Death and didn t pick up another book even ones I had been happily reading the day before until I finished it I ve read a lot of memoirs and sometimes I feel like it s all been done and written before but not this time This is a jaw dropping experience, a memoir that is so far out there it feels like fiction but so emotionally right on that it has to [...]

    7. Children who were raised in poverty, in abuse, in neglect, in terror but made it out can often be lumped into large groups They hide their past from themselves and from others They say it has no bearing on who they are now They broadcast their past, one upping the upbringings of those around them They minimize their childhood, saying their life was no different from others They did what they did to get by.Most pick and choose from the above scenarios, depending on audience and timing It s no sec [...]

    8. Ranks up there with the best writing about the kind of parents who are impossibly ill suited to be parents This definitely stands with The Liar s Club, The Glass Castle, This Boy s Life, and any other book in that vein I enjoyed all of those, tremendously, and I enjoyed this just as much Susanna Sonnenberg is blistering on all levels toward herself, toward the world she grows up in and learns to live in, toward her completely off the rails mother Blistering in a good way, I clarify She s pretty [...]

    9. I was really torn between a 1 and a 2 on this book the 2 rating ultimately won out only b c I had such a viscerally negative reaction to it that I thought that was worth something I just didn t like any of the characters the author, the mother, the sister, and even the husband I was so tired of hearing from the author s perspective how terrible the mother was and if this book is true, she did some horrible things but yet the author spent her whole life wrapped up in her mother s world and ultima [...]

    10. Susanna decides to not go to her mother s bedside after she s been in a nearly fatal accident The bulk of recovery work falls to her sister, who makes the trek to South America to care for their illing mother Susanna looks like the bad daughter.But when you ve grown up with a cocaine using, pill popping, self absorbed pathological liar for a mother, what can you expect Susanna tells the story of the complex, twisted relationship she has with her mother, ranging from moments of complete disgust t [...]

    11. I probably should have put this book down not read the whole thing since it was just a memoir about the author and her relationship with her drug addicted, sex addicted, lying mom, which in turn made her become a nympho from a young age So just sex drugs in this one This author married a jack mormon had a couple of kids after an abortion that this jack mormon approved of I think if I were her in laws I d be embarrassed to read this about my daughter in law and all she did before marrying my son [...]

    12. Susanna Sonnenberg is such a gifted writer even when recanting being the daughter of a narcisstic, coke sex addict mother she writes with total candor and grace She has an incredible way of describing the most mundane to the most exotic Hoping for a third book.

    13. This book is a great read to addicts and people affected by similar circumstances It really reveals the impact of her mothers mental and physical issues on her growing up and personality endeavors in her adult life

    14. I picked up Susanna Sonnenberg s memoir Her Last Death in the bargain bin at Border s and it was one of my better finds among the myriad of books.The book opens with a phone call in which that Sonnenberg learns that her mother, who lives in Barbados, has been in a horrible car accident, and there is a good chance she is going to die The story is about her decision to not go to her mother and why There is too much history, too many lies, too many faked illnesses and almost deception about dying S [...]

    15. Mummy DearestReading this book, the story of Susanna s upbringing and early years of marriage and motherhood, was like reading someone s diary Her Last Death is the intimate purging of an extraordinary life with Mummy perhaps one of the most unfit and reckless characters ever to raise children What s remarkable is that Susanna not only lived to tell the tale, but also ultimately seems to have turned out to be quite normal She has certainly realized her potential as an educated and talented write [...]

    16. I love those books that you haven t been reading about or pining after and then they usually fall under your expectations or maybe meet them but then there s no surprise because it s what you expected Then there are the books that you stumbled on without any urging from other reviewers or barnes and noble lists or suggestions etc etc etc The books that jump out at you at the library or maybe you read something about a new book but the review mentions an old book and that s the one you look into [...]

    17. This book was an emotional rollercoaster I read the book very slowly because i had to take time to process what I had read The author Susanna Sonnenberg has held nothing back in her memoir It was difficult to read at times because it was such a personal experience, and most of the time it was quite depressing.Its hard to call a book like this a good book, or to even say that I enjoyed it I would recommend it though, to anyone who can appreciate a candid life story.I always feel like a lot can be [...]

    18. It is interesting to see what others have said about this memoir For those that did not like it I believe it has a lot to do with not being connected to the reader Having been born in the sixties with a dad who got addicted to coke I read some of this with rapt interest and would like to sit down with the writer over a bottle of wine and share some of our odd memories and ways we have struggled to find normalcy in this world that does not believe or comprehend our experiences,Sonnenberg s voice [...]

    19. I had high expectations for this book I love me some true narratives from people who ve been born into a crazy famous life I love the drama, the struggle, the shock value of the insane things they deem mundane I was expecting a Running With Scissors memoir, equip with drugs and sex and crazy mothers and mental break downs.And true, the book did seem to be going down that path for the first third of it But then, somewhere along the way, the author lost sight of the interesting and it became almos [...]

    20. This is a compulsively readable memoir The main focus is the writer s relationship with her glamorous, narcissistic, sex and drug addicted mother, and how this bond rife with violence, intensity and betrayal reverberated over the course of the author s life and relationships The writing is straightforward and not too frilly the story is fascinating and at times shocking, with a raw edged honesty that resonated with me Most affecting for me was Sonnenberg s description of her use of sexuality as [...]

    21. Her Last Death is the story of Susanna Sonnenberg s life summed up in 273 pages Susanna grows up in a world full of money, drugs, and sex all influenced by her mother.She talks about the struggles and horrific events, but most importantly how she dealt with them I gave it four stars because I could never put this book down It is just amazing how much she went through at such a young age The way she wrote it, the timeline moved pretty quickly and at times it was confusing Sonnenberg writes, I sai [...]

    22. I found this book beautifully haunting I loved the stilted way she wrote short choppy sentences along with wonderfully descriptive ones It was intriguing in her writing style The story is a memoir of a dysfuntional relationship between a girl and her mother, who though it is never stated, clearly seemed to be manic depressive, an obsessive liar, an addict, physically and psychologically abusive, and an alcoholic The author grew up way too fast in such an environment and as you watch her struggle [...]

    23. Agree with most of the other reviews The beginning 1 3 is sharp and quick and gives you a total sense of what it is like to grow up in chaos Kind of like The Glass Castle in it s dysfunction, except this version has money,sex drugs Then the author switches gears after showing her crazy childhood, she moves into her own salacious sexual history And it s not her writing that is prolific ick I felt like an unwilling voyeur and skimmed much of the latter third of the book I couldn t help thinking th [...]

    24. I can understand how some people may not relate to the author and what she went through with her eccentric mom However, speaking as someone who had a Crazy mom, I could relate wholeheartedly to most of her situations and I was able to put my own experiences within the context of the book Since my mom passed away from alcohol abuse three years ago, I have tried to reconcile my feelings of both her life and death, how much I loved her and could hate her at times and I have often felt alone in my f [...]

    25. I stopped roughly 3 4 through just can t bring myself to listen to any I suppose I should ve stopped when her mother is rushed to the hospital with a drug overdose, and a near gangrenous infection where she d been shooting up, yet there was no discussion of her being an unfit parent But, I let that pass and fast forwarded through the many tedious affairs of the author and her mother requiring a scorecard indeed I ve left Our Protaginist in Montana, stringing along a virgin lesbian yes, they do [...]

    26. This is of that vein of memoir that by the end of it I feel ashamed that I read it I really do try to read as many BatShit Crazy Mother stories as possible, since I m writing one of my own So for that reason I put in the 5 hours I did the research But how I wish I had those 5 hours back The most egregious thing about this memoir is its propensity to completely shift scene and setting from paragraph to paragraph, as if the speaker can t wait to enumerate pieces of evidence that the mother is a t [...]

    27. this book was an easy read about a mother written by an author mom was addicted to drugs and attention a rather unpleasant combination the writer talks about the relationship with her mother being an uneasy cocktail of mother daughter and girlfriends chatter an revelations the boundaries blurred by cocaine and over eager young men lies become truths and visa versa readily than should be expected I enjoyed this book the characters were pretty well defined and each chapter was lively and funny, a [...]

    28. This book isn t for the faint hearted You ve heard the saying that not everyone should become parents and that is certainly the case for Susanna s mother It is a wonder that Susanna and her sister turned out as well as they did Maybe Susanna s outlet to write helped her cope with her crazy mother I found Susanna to be a very eloquent writer As I read her book, I often thought to myself what it would be like to have Susanna s talent to describe situations and memories with such detail that you co [...]

    29. I really, really liked this book Shocking It shows how destructive lying iseveryone lies sometimes, but her motherwow One of my ex roommates is a pathological liar, and she reminds me a LOT of the author s motherways lying and making up ridiculous stories to try to impress anyone and everyone This behavior, as I know from experience, destroys and prevents relationships I can relate to how the author can t bear to see her mother after the life she has had I m glad that she has, however, managed t [...]

    30. A peek into how the other half live, and it ain t pretty The author s mother was a completely unhinged and unfit parent, who used her lavish wealth to become addicted to hard drugs and bed every man within spitting distance, and unabashedly introduced her two young daughters to the same What is there to say about a book like this I felt exhausted just reading it The insane and foolish behavior comes at you relentlessly, and it s still amazing to me that some people can fuck up so royally and yet [...]

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