Tasha: A Son’s Memoir

Avid Reader. Apr. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9781982178932. $27. MEMOIR
In his latest work, a son’s loving and hard reflection on his mother, novelist Morton (Starting Out in the Evening) does his best to piece together the complex woman his mother was—from the progressive elementary school teacher, to the scatterbrained woman he remembered, to a woman in mental decline after the death of her husband. Morton attempts to see his mother as a “whole,” outside of the eccentricities he experienced as her child. His memoir takes in his mother’s journal entries, which offered a window into her inner life and revealed secrets Morton hadn’t been aware of during his youth. At times, he steps out of his narrative briefly to comment on the state of health care and elder care in the United States and to air his frustrations with how these systems affected him and his mother. Still, Morton’s writing is conversational and engaging throughout, offering a vivid portrait of a sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-challenging relationship between a mother and son.
VERDICT This is a charming and sad memoir, reminding readers of life’s inevitabilities, the beauty of the journey, and the lesson to hold on to those close to them with a fierceness.
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