Friday, November 1, 2013

They Fall and Get Back Up Again

Life, Death and Iguanas by Marc Newhouse

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review.

Summary: Life, Death and Iguanas is the story of the life and death of a strong woman who chose to fast until her end rather than endure a living death of Alzheimer’s in a nursing home. It’s also the story of her three sons, struggling to help her, warring against each other, and finally uniting. Lastly, it’s the author’s story of depression and loss, with a bittersweet regeneration and growth at the end. Balancing life with grief, laughter with tears, this book suggests a better way to die—and to live.

Review: A very touching tale of one woman’s desire to go out on her own terms and how that affected her family and friends.

Although they only play a small part in the book, I loved the iguanas throughout the book. I am a fan of reptiles including lizards and snakes and I enjoyed that they were in the book. They added to my enjoyment of a touching and poignant tale. The story Newhouse tells in incredible. Her mother, father, family, and friends come to life through his descriptions. I had never thought much of Wisconsin until now. It seems like an amazing place to visit and even live.

I can’t imagine what Newhouse and his family went through after learning about their mother’s decision. Technically, what Frances did could be considered suicide, but I don’t view it that way. I see it as a woman who decided to go out on her own terms and that takes a lot of courage. But perhaps the people who needed the most courage were the ones left behind. It can be so difficult to be the one left behind. There is plenty of family tension and fighting and Newhouse’s own ongoing struggles with depression.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to people who are looking for a touching and poignant tale about death and dying.

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