While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Review: The Last Goodnights by John West

Received this through Bostick Communications for review.

About the Book

John West’s memoir provides a unique, powerful, and unflinching look inside the reality of one of the most galvanizing issues of our time: assisted suicide. Told with intensity and bare honesty, his account of the deaths of his parents is both gritty and loving, frightening and illuminating, nerve-wracking and even, at times, darkly humorous.

For more information on The Last Goodnights please visit Coutnerpoint Press's website.

My Review

I really thought this one would be a tear-jerker, but it surprisingly wasn't. It wasn't that I didn't become emotionally attached, but West gives the story so matter-of-factly and the humor that exudes from his family makes it easier to read. Not to say that he's making light of this very serious topic, but the stories are marked with humor because that's how they happened.

Whether you agree with assisted suicide or not I think this is a great book to read. The turmoil West goes through, while helping his parents relieve themselves of their turmoil, is horrible but to be expected when placed in this situation.

I felt like I got to know K, Jolly, and John while reading this. And while I know they are real people books about real events always seem to have something missing that links the people to the real world. I didn't feel that way at all with this one. I think the portrayal of who these people really are came through very well. It was very well written.

I don't know that I could have done what John did, I don't know that I would ever be placed in that situation, but what I do know is that I could not have relived it over and over by writing a book about it. I think it is courageous of West to have even attempted it. And while he states that it was therapeutic for him I think it still must have been a very difficult and emotionally draining task (given what he had already gone through).

Even with the very difficult subject matter this was a very readable book. I didn't get to drained to finish it, and it didn't take me very long to get into it, and then finish it.

The Last Goodnights: Assisting My Parents with Their Suicides

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