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Tasha: A Son's Memoir

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In the spirit of Fierce Attachments and The End of Your Life Book Club, acclaimed novelist Brian Morton delivers a “superb” (Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air), darkly funny memoir of his mother’s vibrant life and the many ways in which their tight, tumultuous relationship was refashioned in her twilight years. Tasha Morton is a force of nature: a brilliant educator who’s left he In the spirit of Fierce Attachments and The End of Your Life Book Club, acclaimed novelist Brian Morton delivers a “superb” (Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air), darkly funny memoir of his mother’s vibrant life and the many ways in which their tight, tumultuous relationship was refashioned in her twilight years. Tasha Morton is a force of nature: a brilliant educator who’s left her mark on generations of students—and also a whirlwind of a mother, intrusive, chaotic, oppressively devoted, and irrepressible. For decades, her son Brian has kept her at a self-protective distance, but when her health begins to fail, he knows it’s time to assume responsibility for her care. Even so, he’s not prepared for what awaits him, as her refusal to accept her own fragility leads to a series of epic outbursts and altercations that are sometimes frightening, sometimes wildly comic, and sometimes both. Clear-eyed, “deeply stirring” (Dani Shapiro, The New York Times Book Review), and brimming with dark humor, Tasha is both a vivid account of an unforgettable woman and a stark look at the impossible task of caring for an elderly parent in a country whose unofficial motto is “you’re on your own.”


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In the spirit of Fierce Attachments and The End of Your Life Book Club, acclaimed novelist Brian Morton delivers a “superb” (Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air), darkly funny memoir of his mother’s vibrant life and the many ways in which their tight, tumultuous relationship was refashioned in her twilight years. Tasha Morton is a force of nature: a brilliant educator who’s left he In the spirit of Fierce Attachments and The End of Your Life Book Club, acclaimed novelist Brian Morton delivers a “superb” (Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air), darkly funny memoir of his mother’s vibrant life and the many ways in which their tight, tumultuous relationship was refashioned in her twilight years. Tasha Morton is a force of nature: a brilliant educator who’s left her mark on generations of students—and also a whirlwind of a mother, intrusive, chaotic, oppressively devoted, and irrepressible. For decades, her son Brian has kept her at a self-protective distance, but when her health begins to fail, he knows it’s time to assume responsibility for her care. Even so, he’s not prepared for what awaits him, as her refusal to accept her own fragility leads to a series of epic outbursts and altercations that are sometimes frightening, sometimes wildly comic, and sometimes both. Clear-eyed, “deeply stirring” (Dani Shapiro, The New York Times Book Review), and brimming with dark humor, Tasha is both a vivid account of an unforgettable woman and a stark look at the impossible task of caring for an elderly parent in a country whose unofficial motto is “you’re on your own.”

30 review for Tasha: A Son's Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Old Tasha was a firecracker! I love it when I can say a memoir is juicy when there’s not neon-light action and drama. It’s just a son telling the story of his mom, Tasha, as she slowly enters dementia-hood. It’s chock full of self-reflection and psychological insight—about him, her, and their relationship. I always pant to hear that kind of talk—psych talk where we get down to the nitty-gritty of why we do and say things. I picked this book up for two reasons. One, Betsy gave this book a big thum Old Tasha was a firecracker! I love it when I can say a memoir is juicy when there’s not neon-light action and drama. It’s just a son telling the story of his mom, Tasha, as she slowly enters dementia-hood. It’s chock full of self-reflection and psychological insight—about him, her, and their relationship. I always pant to hear that kind of talk—psych talk where we get down to the nitty-gritty of why we do and say things. I picked this book up for two reasons. One, Betsy gave this book a big thumbs up in her excellent review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Two, I read a novel years ago by Morton called Florence Gordon, which ended up on my favorites shelf. It’s about a feisty old feminist living in New York City. I started out loving her but then decided she was too much of a bitch for my liking. Still, I remember the book fondly. Morton is such a good writer—no fancy-schmancy, self-conscious, poetic wax-ness. Just a very honest, straightforward, and sophisticated memoir, with some humor and self-deprecation thrown in. We don’t get any filler or side trips or navel-gazing. The tone is conversational without being cute. Good editing for sure. Morton seems to understand his mom deeply. And he analyzes his motives and needs as he wrestles with what to do with her. He doesn’t give himself any breaks; he doesn’t make himself appear as the saintly son, that’s for sure. She, of course, has her own needs, ones that aren’t the same as his—and man does she express them! What to do with an old mother who is losing it? Do you take her home to live with you? (Oh squirm like a worm!) Do you find someone reliable and normal to come to her home and take care of her? Do you find a “facility”? And good luck with that one. There are a lot of scary dumps out there! The book shines a light on the huge question of what to do. We learn that America sure drops the ball when it comes to caring for old guys. And elder abuse does exist, folks—frightening! Now an old gal, I found it all fascinating and cathartic. Also terrifying. This book is super relatable, as my sibs and I had the same problem with our demented mom. Where should she live? How to cope with the feelings that go with that decision? And now—oh this must be impossible—my own kids might have to make tough decisions on my care down the road. Gulp. Tasha was a firecracker, which made it a captivating read. But I also found her obnoxious and uncaring, especially as Morton recounted her younger years. She did grow on me, but it took a while. Morton went through hell making the required decisions about her life. His angst meter was topping out. Funny, I went back and read my review of Florence Gordon and in it I talk about a son who is at college and never appears in the story. It seemed strange. I can’t help but think that Florence the character resembled Tasha his mom. Well, I’m here to tell you that the son ain’t mum no more—he has shown up bigtime, to talk about the real Tasha, aka Florence. He honors her quirkiness, her stubbornness, her zest, her crankiness, while looking at himself as he struggles with her behavior and needs. I’m a fiction lover through and through, and I will tell you that this memoir reads like a great character-driven novel. And did I say it’s a page-turner? Pretty good when we’re talking about a tame little memoir about a son and his mom. I want to read more by this author; he definitely has groovy writing chops. Thanks to NetGalley and Edelweiss for advance copies.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Betsy Robinson

    Oh how I love a writer who strives to tell the truth. That sounds like a simple statement but it is not. A writer who strives to tell the truth acknowledges, first, that it's impossible. The minute you put something into language, you are once-removed from its essence. And when you try to write the truth about somebody other than yourself, the chances of getting it right are almost nil. And if you try to tell the truth about yourself, you are in for the battle of your life. In this funny, moving m Oh how I love a writer who strives to tell the truth. That sounds like a simple statement but it is not. A writer who strives to tell the truth acknowledges, first, that it's impossible. The minute you put something into language, you are once-removed from its essence. And when you try to write the truth about somebody other than yourself, the chances of getting it right are almost nil. And if you try to tell the truth about yourself, you are in for the battle of your life. In this funny, moving memoir about Brian Morton's complicated irascible mother Tasha, Morton not only does full battle with himself to tell the truth, but he strives to get it right about a woman whose last words to him were, "I hate you." And somehow Morton makes his striving, full of conversations with himself in an effort to get to truths he may be ignoring or hiding from himself, absolutely riveting. I loved it. I love the humor. I love the truth. I love Tasha and Brian. I love the effort, and I love that he succeeds. This is a wonderful, entertaining memoir of complicated truths (as well as a lot of substantial content about aging and elder care in the US of A, "a country whose motto might as well be 'You're On Your own.'"). And I believe more and more that if a writer does this—commits himself to truth over the vanity of looking good or any compulsions to be a literary show off (we all have both) or create any kind of appearance that people might like or that might sell books—he becomes somebody any reader, no matter what their own history, can relate to. * * * Thank you to Simon & Schuster for the ARC. 4/23/22 Update To hear Brian Morton talk about this book, listen to this wonderful podcast.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    In Morton’s memoir, he writes about his elderly mother’s decline in health later in life. Many people who have had the responsibility of caring for an older relative will be able to relate to Morton’s experiences. Obtaining care for someone you love in the most respectful way possible is not easy to do. The author explores how he navigated this situation while providing a wonderful portrait of his outspoken, independent mother. I don’t remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud and cry, In Morton’s memoir, he writes about his elderly mother’s decline in health later in life. Many people who have had the responsibility of caring for an older relative will be able to relate to Morton’s experiences. Obtaining care for someone you love in the most respectful way possible is not easy to do. The author explores how he navigated this situation while providing a wonderful portrait of his outspoken, independent mother. I don’t remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud and cry, but Tasha accomplished that feat. The book made me reflect on my relationships with my grandparents, parents, and children. I would recommend this book for readers of memoirs and anyone interested in elder care.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook…..read by Sean Patrick Hopkins …..4 hours and 27 minutes Loved LOVED LOVED it!!!! ….Thank you Betsy… Soooo glad I didn’t miss this!!! I loved “Tasha” on so many levels…an all-encompassing passionate memoir …. a son’s relationship with his mother during the later ending years of her life. We can’t fool ourselves…. the changes of aging is scary, and challenging….. ….from losing our independence… ….from a harder time showering ….to being worried we might burden our family… etc etc. An ‘overflowi Audiobook…..read by Sean Patrick Hopkins …..4 hours and 27 minutes Loved LOVED LOVED it!!!! ….Thank you Betsy… Soooo glad I didn’t miss this!!! I loved “Tasha” on so many levels…an all-encompassing passionate memoir …. a son’s relationship with his mother during the later ending years of her life. We can’t fool ourselves…. the changes of aging is scary, and challenging….. ….from losing our independence… ….from a harder time showering ….to being worried we might burden our family… etc etc. An ‘overflowing’ moving experience of love, truth, warmth, concerns, humor…..*tribute* to a mother by a mensch of a son! “Life gives us a limited number of chances to be the people we want to be”!! Thank you Brian!!! ….agree fully when you said: “Everyone wants to be taken seriously”!! ….a side note: I enjoyed Mom’s relationship with the Rabbi - the Jewish Community (born Jewish- not religious per say)…. but a Mom recognizes kindness when she sees it. Amen!! Wonderful audiobook! Thanks again to Betsy Robinson…. an always inspiring reader, reviewer, and author!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ilana

    A stunning and moving memoir. Morton writes sensitively, with deep self-awareness and no little amount of self-deprecating (but not self-indulgently so) humor, of the pain and pleasure of having Tasha Morton as a mother, and tries to understand and view her as a whole person, as best as any child can see any parent. Too, this memoir holds the tragedy that is elder care in this country, as well as our approaches to it, which we have been taught and which affect us even if we wish it (and we) were A stunning and moving memoir. Morton writes sensitively, with deep self-awareness and no little amount of self-deprecating (but not self-indulgently so) humor, of the pain and pleasure of having Tasha Morton as a mother, and tries to understand and view her as a whole person, as best as any child can see any parent. Too, this memoir holds the tragedy that is elder care in this country, as well as our approaches to it, which we have been taught and which affect us even if we wish it (and we) were different. It's also a zippy read, one you'll want to return to for all the wisdom, love, and compassion found therein.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Drea

    Well that was lovely - describing a relationship between a mother and son must be daunting. Author Brian Morton writes with a beautiful gift of conveying the complex emotions mananging the care for his aging, declining mother. Throughout the book, I loved his mom. You will too. I smiled a lot while reading this - i also related to the feelings of love toward an aging parent and the insufficient options an adult child has as care options for their parent. Tasha is a wonderful book - I read it it Well that was lovely - describing a relationship between a mother and son must be daunting. Author Brian Morton writes with a beautiful gift of conveying the complex emotions mananging the care for his aging, declining mother. Throughout the book, I loved his mom. You will too. I smiled a lot while reading this - i also related to the feelings of love toward an aging parent and the insufficient options an adult child has as care options for their parent. Tasha is a wonderful book - I read it it one sitting - page after page captivating me. Highly recommend. Great choice for a book discussion group. Heartfelt thanks to Avid for the advanced copy. I’m grateful.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Kelley

    The author after his mother is rescued from a car that was stuck in flood waters and both him and his sister noticing that something is not quite right find out that their mother has probably suffered a stroke. He is forced to look back over his and his family's life's and especially his relationship with his mother which was not as close as the one he had with his father. He also figures he should have realized that his mother was an eccentric and at times a little different. He tells the story The author after his mother is rescued from a car that was stuck in flood waters and both him and his sister noticing that something is not quite right find out that their mother has probably suffered a stroke. He is forced to look back over his and his family's life's and especially his relationship with his mother which was not as close as the one he had with his father. He also figures he should have realized that his mother was an eccentric and at times a little different. He tells the story of his mother who was a driven woman that left home at the age of 16, changed her name, was the first ever copy girl for the Daily Worker, she worked for a labor union, and became a forward thinking teacher that was loved by both students and parents. She used the concept of open teaching that was something quite new in the 1970's. She lead a successful life and contributed towards society especially education as she was an elected school board member for twenty years. Still with all this he is confronted with why he could not have a closer relationship and why his mother acted the way she did. As the story moves forward his the family has to cope with what children have to face with aging parents or parent with taking driving privileges away and in her instance moving into dementia and how to care for her and how to find the right care and possible facilities and people that care and will actually do their job. As you will see he does find some of the answers he is looking for concerning his relationship but it just may come a little to late. I could not believe that he did not realize at the time that his mother was a hoarder, he mentioned one time they hired a cleaner who took fifteen bags of trash to the curb and after she left his mother brought them all back in and took everything out of the bags. Overall this is a good read thank you to Netgalley and ECW press for an ARC for a fair and honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Sharkey

    Sometimes books find you at the exact moment you need them. I’m dealing with my own mother’s descent in to dementia and I could relate so much to the author. I read this book in 24 hours.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Years ago, Brian Morton wrote his first novel. The novel presented an idealized version of his recently deceased father and a satirical view of his Jewish mother. After she read the novel, his mother called and referred to him as her "former son". This memoir was written as a response to that first book. As he writes here, "I'm sure that a got a lot of it wrong, but I tried to see you as you were." He succeeds in painting a portrait of a brave, creative, woman who was passionate about her career Years ago, Brian Morton wrote his first novel. The novel presented an idealized version of his recently deceased father and a satirical view of his Jewish mother. After she read the novel, his mother called and referred to him as her "former son". This memoir was written as a response to that first book. As he writes here, "I'm sure that a got a lot of it wrong, but I tried to see you as you were." He succeeds in painting a portrait of a brave, creative, woman who was passionate about her career as an elementary school teacher, but who was also stubborn and impossible to deal with. Morton had created a life where he kept his mother at a safe distance. That all falls apart as she's failing and needs more support. The story here will be familiar to anyone who's cared for an aging relative. This is mostly a personal story, but Morton does offer his observations about how poorly our culture cares for our elders and how difficult it can be to access quality services. I found the book dragged a bit about halfway through. The reader is as exasperated as Morton is with his mother's difficult behavior. But the last third of the book is an outstanding portrayal of his mother's last days. Morton is brutally honest about his own failings but redeems himself by trying his best to get inside his mother's head. Ultimately, she is seen as the clever, funny, and fiercely loving mother she was.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Colvin

    Very touching yet honest book about a mother through the eyes of her son.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. In a world full of people looking to project their lives as perfect on social media, this book was a welcome change. The honesty depicted in these pages was so unexpected that I devoured it in one sitting. I found myself thinking about real life circumstances as I read based on the authors stories of his interactions with his family. This book made me think about my relationship with my parents and my childr I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. In a world full of people looking to project their lives as perfect on social media, this book was a welcome change. The honesty depicted in these pages was so unexpected that I devoured it in one sitting. I found myself thinking about real life circumstances as I read based on the authors stories of his interactions with his family. This book made me think about my relationship with my parents and my children and how those relationships will change as we all get older. I’m glad the author felt it was necessary to write this book and I’m glad j got a chance to read it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cara Calzadilla

    Loved this memoir. Tasha sounds like she was a hoot!! I love the truth bombs she dropped on people; nothing like a lady in her 80’s keeping it real. Thank you for sharing your mom with us! * & thank you for the ARC I received from Goodreads Giveaways!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chantelle Tuffigo

    I’m a sucker for memoirs, especially ones about dysfunctional families or tense parental relationships (lol @ my trauma). I was so excited to get an ARC of this, thanks to Midtown Reader in Tallahassee, FL! I really liked this book. I found it very moving but also funny at times. And there were also parts that were very difficult to read. I really felt for Brian and his sister as they considered Tasha’s living situation. If you love memoirs as much as I do, you’ll probably enjoy this; if not I th I’m a sucker for memoirs, especially ones about dysfunctional families or tense parental relationships (lol @ my trauma). I was so excited to get an ARC of this, thanks to Midtown Reader in Tallahassee, FL! I really liked this book. I found it very moving but also funny at times. And there were also parts that were very difficult to read. I really felt for Brian and his sister as they considered Tasha’s living situation. If you love memoirs as much as I do, you’ll probably enjoy this; if not I think some may find it boring. I would say objectively, not much really happened in this book. The author just recounts and reflects on his mother’s decline/death, and their relationship. It almost felt like reading the author’s journal sometimes. Just very personal and transparent. Again, I did really like this book. My main reason for only giving four stars is because of the lack of action or a central “conflict” to overcome. It was also a short book and I would’ve liked to spend more time exploring the aftermath of certain key moments.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marian

    Brian Morton's memoir on his mother, Tasha, begins as she is nearing the end of her life. Battling the aftermath of a stroke as well as the onset of dementia, Tasha does not make life easy for anyone. Morton chronicles her story giving readers a glimpse into the complex, courageous and rather irreverent woman that he grew up with. Morton admits that he kept his mother "at arm's length" for most of his life, but as Tasha struggles with day-to-day living, Morton gives us an unvarnished account of w Brian Morton's memoir on his mother, Tasha, begins as she is nearing the end of her life. Battling the aftermath of a stroke as well as the onset of dementia, Tasha does not make life easy for anyone. Morton chronicles her story giving readers a glimpse into the complex, courageous and rather irreverent woman that he grew up with. Morton admits that he kept his mother "at arm's length" for most of his life, but as Tasha struggles with day-to-day living, Morton gives us an unvarnished account of what it's like to deal with a parent whose independence is rapidly vanishing, but whose pride won't let go of a life she's known for so many years. Morton has written a loving, humorous and honest account of dealing with Tasha (warts and all) as both of them navigate this new reality. And while Morton wrote this book after Tasha's death, I liked to think that even though she (as well as her son) weren't always written in the most flattering light, it is a book filled with a son's devotion and love. I would like to thank #NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to review this electronic ARC.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Lumbrix

    As someone who works with the elderly, this book hit me HARD. Morton chronicles the last several year’s of his mother’s life as she travels deeper into the throes of dementia—at the same time, he reckons with the memories/regrets of their often difficult relationship. It is a deeply moving memoir, and also a searing indictment of the lack of healthcare options for elderly people in the USA—we’re talking elder abuse & roaches on nursing home walls. It’s conversational in tone/style while probing As someone who works with the elderly, this book hit me HARD. Morton chronicles the last several year’s of his mother’s life as she travels deeper into the throes of dementia—at the same time, he reckons with the memories/regrets of their often difficult relationship. It is a deeply moving memoir, and also a searing indictment of the lack of healthcare options for elderly people in the USA—we’re talking elder abuse & roaches on nursing home walls. It’s conversational in tone/style while probing the heavy-heavy depths of content. I really really recommend it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    Tasha is a fascinating memoir about the author's mother and his relationship with her. I loved learning about Tasha and her uniqueness and forward-thinking. The memoir largely follows his mother's aging and end of life and depicts a vivid portrait of her personality and contributions throughout her life. It ruminates on the way we live and how we treat our family especially as they age and need more care. I loved the style of writing and vulnerability. At times, it is touching, funny, and heartb Tasha is a fascinating memoir about the author's mother and his relationship with her. I loved learning about Tasha and her uniqueness and forward-thinking. The memoir largely follows his mother's aging and end of life and depicts a vivid portrait of her personality and contributions throughout her life. It ruminates on the way we live and how we treat our family especially as they age and need more care. I loved the style of writing and vulnerability. At times, it is touching, funny, and heartbreaking. Thank you Avid Reader Press for this ARC. All thoughts are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gina McDonald

    This was one of those rare memoirs that actually tell the truth. It’s an honest, emotional look at a son taking care of his mother in her later years. Tasha is fiery and funny, and not always easy to love, and he was very honest about that. And yet I could tell he really loved her without him ever really saying it. Anyone who’s taken care of a sick parent, or struggled with a parent relationship, will feel some kind of way with this one. I really appreciated it, and brought back some memories I This was one of those rare memoirs that actually tell the truth. It’s an honest, emotional look at a son taking care of his mother in her later years. Tasha is fiery and funny, and not always easy to love, and he was very honest about that. And yet I could tell he really loved her without him ever really saying it. Anyone who’s taken care of a sick parent, or struggled with a parent relationship, will feel some kind of way with this one. I really appreciated it, and brought back some memories I had of my own mothers final months and days. Heartfelt writing.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chris Roberts

    There are no mothers and fathers We are all tattooed nakedness At birth But, supposing parents do exist They haven't the heart For the adult children part Absent childhood Absent genetics A mother owes her child Absolutely nothing The son owes his mother Not one glance backward. #poem Chris Roberts, Patron Saint of the Singular Ones There are no mothers and fathers We are all tattooed nakedness At birth But, supposing parents do exist They haven't the heart For the adult children part Absent childhood Absent genetics A mother owes her child Absolutely nothing The son owes his mother Not one glance backward. #poem Chris Roberts, Patron Saint of the Singular Ones

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sue Hayward-Ault

    My thanks to NetGalley and Avid Press / Simon Schuster publishing for the opportunity to review this memoir. I loved this unflinching insightful look of what it can be like dealing with a complex and fiercely independent woman who is also your mother. Who's lifestyle and actions deteriorate with age and dementia until her death. I found this very true to the reality that I have personally experienced with patients I have cared for. Definitely worth reading My thanks to NetGalley and Avid Press / Simon Schuster publishing for the opportunity to review this memoir. I loved this unflinching insightful look of what it can be like dealing with a complex and fiercely independent woman who is also your mother. Who's lifestyle and actions deteriorate with age and dementia until her death. I found this very true to the reality that I have personally experienced with patients I have cared for. Definitely worth reading

  20. 4 out of 5

    David

    Brian Morton writes with such clarity about complex matters of the heart. There's a measured quality to the prose in Tasha -- Morton examines his relationship with his mother from many angles, not flinching from his own ambivalence about the relationship, holding himself to the fire for his own dubious or selfish decisions, and trying to see beneath the surface of those reactions to analyze a question that isn't open to easy analysis: Why are we the way that we are? The book is courageous and of Brian Morton writes with such clarity about complex matters of the heart. There's a measured quality to the prose in Tasha -- Morton examines his relationship with his mother from many angles, not flinching from his own ambivalence about the relationship, holding himself to the fire for his own dubious or selfish decisions, and trying to see beneath the surface of those reactions to analyze a question that isn't open to easy analysis: Why are we the way that we are? The book is courageous and often very (darkly) funny. But what amazes me most is that, for all of its psychological and emotional complexity, the book is so incredibly READABLE. I read it in one long sitting, entranced by its hypnotic, confessional quality. I wish I possessed this kind of self-knowledge. And, as someone who also strives to write books, I wish I could write sentences that click and fall into place the way Morton's do. It's one of the best memoirs I've encountered, and it broke my heart, both because of the movement toward Tasha's inevitable death, and because it made me think so hard about decisions I should have made differently, and all the mistakes that, like it or not, define me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I won a copy of this in Goodreads Giveaways. This book is bittersweet and I think anyone reading can relate on some level. Whether it's a grandparent, parent or anyone really in your life who has died or at the end of life. I personally found a lot of thing in this book that resonated with things that have happened in my life & to people I have loved. I enjoyed this book and it really leaves you thinking. Thank you. I won a copy of this in Goodreads Giveaways. This book is bittersweet and I think anyone reading can relate on some level. Whether it's a grandparent, parent or anyone really in your life who has died or at the end of life. I personally found a lot of thing in this book that resonated with things that have happened in my life & to people I have loved. I enjoyed this book and it really leaves you thinking. Thank you.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Teepa Snow

    Brian Morton provides an elegantly written and intensely honest portrait of his mother through her life, including her journey with dementia. He details the wide-ranging, colorful experiences that influenced her. His remarkable storytelling ability brings to life the ways in which her personality and preferences remained true and expanded while she was living with dementia during the closing chapters of her life. The complex tangle that is the parent-child relationship, highlighted particularly Brian Morton provides an elegantly written and intensely honest portrait of his mother through her life, including her journey with dementia. He details the wide-ranging, colorful experiences that influenced her. His remarkable storytelling ability brings to life the ways in which her personality and preferences remained true and expanded while she was living with dementia during the closing chapters of her life. The complex tangle that is the parent-child relationship, highlighted particularly when the parent is experiencing cognitive changes, is presented with bittersweet humor and unyielding candor. -Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, Founder of Positive Approach to Care®

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Tasha: A Son's Memoir will, without a doubt, end up on my list of ten best books this year. This is a wonderful memoir about Brian Morton's relationship with his mother in her later years. For most of his life, Brian has been able to keep his mother at arm's length, but as her health starts to decline, he must get involved with her upkeep and care. Tasha is laugh-out-loud funny, with moments of poignancy, but most of all Tasha is an honest memoir about family. Tasha: A Son's Memoir will, without a doubt, end up on my list of ten best books this year. This is a wonderful memoir about Brian Morton's relationship with his mother in her later years. For most of his life, Brian has been able to keep his mother at arm's length, but as her health starts to decline, he must get involved with her upkeep and care. Tasha is laugh-out-loud funny, with moments of poignancy, but most of all Tasha is an honest memoir about family.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Candy

    Anyone who has ever "parented" a parent will be nodding along... Anyone who has ever "parented" a parent will be nodding along...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    This is a wonderful book. It's under 200 pages, but it packs in a lot. It's Brian Morton's memoir of his mother, Tasha. He had previously written a novel in which she was a character, which was kind of a caricature. Not surprisingly, she hated it. After her death, he wanted to give a fuller, more accurate picture of his mother. In some ways, she was appalling: egocentric, narcissistic, insensitive. Just one example: she could not understand why he wouldn't want her to accompany him and his wife This is a wonderful book. It's under 200 pages, but it packs in a lot. It's Brian Morton's memoir of his mother, Tasha. He had previously written a novel in which she was a character, which was kind of a caricature. Not surprisingly, she hated it. After her death, he wanted to give a fuller, more accurate picture of his mother. In some ways, she was appalling: egocentric, narcissistic, insensitive. Just one example: she could not understand why he wouldn't want her to accompany him and his wife on their anniversary dinner. But she had been a wonderful, progressive teacher and civil rights advocate. I had trouble putting these two sides together. How could someone devoted to enabling children to become independent thinkers be so controlling with regards to her own children? How could someone so controlling that she left 27 messages on his answering machine enable her pupils to become independent thinkers? The book is also about her stubborn refusal to go into assisted living (I get that!) when she can no longer care for herself, partly because she's become a serious hoarder in complete denial. Instead, Tasha wanted to live with her son or her daughter. I wish he didn't feel so guilty about not having let her do that. He considered selling his mother's house and using the money to buy a bigger house that would accommodate his family and his mother and an aide. An entire block wouldn't be big enough! As an adult, Brian managed to distance himself from his mother, who could be charming and funny, but also toxic. Having her live with them would have destroyed him and probably wrecked his family. The book is also about the trials of having an aged parent with dementia and trying to find decent care for them. Because Tasha is not a reliable witness, to say the least, Brian eventually secretly tapes one of the aides who was at least verbally abusive and possibly physically abusive as well. It's heartbreaking. This book will give you a lot to think about: aging and death, the possibility of dementia, adult relations with your parents, your relations with your adult children, and a healthcare system whose motto seems to be "You're on your own." You'll laugh, you may cry, you won't put it down.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Woodstock Pickett

    Tasha was a remarkable woman. She had a long career as a innovative and thoughtful educator, a political radical at times, the mother of two children. Her son's book about her begins with two scary episodes - near the end of her life, in failing health, she was in her car when it was overwhelmed by a flash flood. Her son remembers the second scary moment, when as a four year old he watched his mother jump from a moving train. She had prolonged a farewell to family members who were on the train as Tasha was a remarkable woman. She had a long career as a innovative and thoughtful educator, a political radical at times, the mother of two children. Her son's book about her begins with two scary episodes - near the end of her life, in failing health, she was in her car when it was overwhelmed by a flash flood. Her son remembers the second scary moment, when as a four year old he watched his mother jump from a moving train. She had prolonged a farewell to family members who were on the train as passengers and jumped to the platform as the train slowly began its journey. The rest of the book is one scary situation after another, as the author along with his wife and sister cope with Tasha's growing dementia. They are never able to find a completely satisfactory answer to the difficulties presented by caring for Tasha. The author struggles to pay tribute to his mother and to be honest with himself and his readers as he does so. I devoured the book in one day. I encountered many memories of some of my own family members.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    This memoir is written by the author Brian Morton and it is about his mother. Morton‘s mother is described as an elderly Jewish women in her 80’s. She is very intelligent, has a quick wit, is very stubborn, very kindhearted to all, and unfortunately she now has dementia. Her home is a hoarder’s mess and she is furious that her license to drive has been taken away. She certainly does give her son and daughter a very difficult time as they try to keep her safe and happy. The author also reminisces This memoir is written by the author Brian Morton and it is about his mother. Morton‘s mother is described as an elderly Jewish women in her 80’s. She is very intelligent, has a quick wit, is very stubborn, very kindhearted to all, and unfortunately she now has dementia. Her home is a hoarder’s mess and she is furious that her license to drive has been taken away. She certainly does give her son and daughter a very difficult time as they try to keep her safe and happy. The author also reminisces about his childhood and his relationship with his mother throughout the years. Like everyone who looses a parent, he expresses some regrets and some guilt that continues to haunt him. I enjoyed this author’s sense of humor and found this to be a memoir that also had me reminiscing about my own parents. While reading this book I felt very gratefully for my wonderful memories and also grateful that my parents were not like Tasha.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bryn

    This was compellingly readable and captures so well the tensions between our deep familial ties--and the inevitable strains that come with them; I'm reminded of Irma Bombeck's book, Family: The Ties That Bind and Gag." In this searingly self-critical look from the author at his relationship with and behavior towards own mother, he captures our seemingly universal inability to see our parents in an objective light. It also captures, in its conclusion, how the tie between us and our parents (in 99 This was compellingly readable and captures so well the tensions between our deep familial ties--and the inevitable strains that come with them; I'm reminded of Irma Bombeck's book, Family: The Ties That Bind and Gag." In this searingly self-critical look from the author at his relationship with and behavior towards own mother, he captures our seemingly universal inability to see our parents in an objective light. It also captures, in its conclusion, how the tie between us and our parents (in 99% of cases, absent abuse) distilled down to its essence is one of a deep and unparalleled LOVE. It's inspirational, in the sense of motivating one to action. If you're lucky enough still to have your parents, remember that. They'll leave you one day, and as they are going, you'll be wanting them to stay and be overcome with love for them.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sophia de Reeder

    This book was heart-wrenchingly beautiful in every way. I may be slightly biased, as Brian is my writing professor at Sarah Lawrence, but this book was truly so fantastic. Though the entirety of the book was incredibly written and touching, it was the last few chapters that made this book a 5-star read for me. I cried. A lot. This novel may be short, but it still manages to paint a picture of an entire lifetime in its pages. It’s a masterful memoir and and a great read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I really enjoyed these wonderful stories. His Mom was quite the force to be reckoned with. I couldn’t wait to turn the page to hear another story.

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