Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Mother's Story Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1997


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, Import
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$45.04 $2.72

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452278228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452278226
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,355,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In 1988, Gloria Vanderbilt's 23-year-old son Carter committed suicide. As Vanderbilt looked on, Carter swung away from the terrace wall of her 14th-floor New York apartment and, in Vanderbilt's words, "He let go." In this poignant memoir, Vanderbilt reflects on her own painful history and what she describes as "the final loss, the fatal loss that stripped me bare." She thought, she says, that she could not survive the death of her son. This memoir is a testimony to her courage and her own return to life. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In 1988, the author's 23-year-old son, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper--Princeton graduate, editor at American Heritage, outwardly confident and in control of his life--committed suicide, falling from the terrace of her Manhattan apartment as she watched helplessly. This luminous, wise, healing and deeply moving memoir opens with Vanderbilt's flashbacks to other personal losses, including abandonment by her mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, who left for Paris in 1925, dumping her at the age of one year on her maternal grandmother and an Irish nurse; the death of her father, Reginald, three months later; and the death of her actor/screenwriter husband, Wyatt Cooper, in 1978 after he suffered several heart attacks. Some of these traumas were covered in her 1985 autobiography, Once Upon a Time, and the self-conscious narrative is padded with diary excerpts from 1971. But when Vanderbilt finally recalls her son's death--which she believes was the result of a psychotic episode induced by a prescription allergy drug, Proventil--the writing shines, communicating her almost unbearable pain and sorrow with shattering intensity.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
13
4 star
2
3 star
1
2 star
2
1 star
0
See all 18 customer reviews
Thank you, Gloria, for sharing your story.
Carolyn Dorsett
This little book is short enough, and compelling enough, to read in one sitting.
Kona
I highly recommend this book for survivors of suicide.
Schtinky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is an unexpected jewel that was given to me by a friend during a time in my life where I was struggling with myself and my path in life. Everyone can associate with the events and emotions conveyed in this touching account of a mother losing her son. Honest, personal, and moving, the author invites us into a sacred place and shares her tragedy with the world with loving care. At times I felt embarassed, as if I were trespassing into a private and personal memory. It is more than a book about loss and heart ache, it is a book about life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Schtinky VINE VOICE on January 13, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Gloria Vanderbilt's novel isn't about Gloria, it's about Suicide and the aftermath of depression and grief. Even in the ever increasing, unwanted clique of suicide survivors, it's still fairly rare for those who have actually witnessed the suicide of our dearly loved ones to find help for our special sorrow. Suicide of a loved one is hard enough to deal with, but there's a distinctive anguish that must be dealt with when such a disturbing, shocking, and painful life-taking event is witnessed.

Such an event separates us from the rest of society in an uncomfortable and agonizing way, and no one could have been more separated from her feelings than the last American Debutante: Gloria Vanderbilt. Raised to be a "lady", to never show strong emotions, to remain in control at all times, Gloria experienced many shattering events, but her "glass bubble" broke when her son committed suicide before her very eyes. Gloria had to break her glass bubble in order to survive, to deal with the overpowering emotion exclusive to survivors of suicide, and she poignantly shares her journey in this heartrending account of her son's life and death. Breaking her "bubble" was a gutsy act, one that perhaps you are facing now. I found strength in her words, and courageousness in her willingness to share her unique pain. Her story is about celebrating her son's life and accomplishments, remembering him as he was before his illness overtook his life, and about her courage to "break the glass bubble" and share her deep, heartfelt emotion and pain in order to help others in spite of her upbringing, which encouraged a lady to bottle up feelings.

The stigma attached to suicide, and even those who are left behind, is often crippling.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Kona VINE VOICE on October 14, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Gloria Vanderbilt describes herself as living from earliest childhood in an "unbreakable glass bubble," a sense of being isolated from people because she was unlovable and unworthy, unable to feel deep emotions. Though she knew happiness for the first time with her fourth husband Wyatt Cooper and her sons, she still felt tinges of being cut off from reality. Her husband's death started to crack the unbreakable bubble surrounding her soul, and it shattered completely and forever when she witnessed her son Carter commit suicide, when he was 23.

She then was able to feel the deepest pain and guilt, and to acknowledge the boundless joy he had brought to her. She writes in a disjointed manner, flashing back and forth with journal entries and short reflections about events in her life leading up to Carter's death, which she describes in acute detail. Her musings are written to herself and to Carter, except for one chapter in which she reaches out to readers who are dealing with loss; she never imagined she could survive after her son's death, but she did, and given enough time, others will, too.

This little book is short enough, and compelling enough, to read in one sitting. Her reflections are deeply personal, and yet universally understood.

Kona
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Phillips on February 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this a year or two ago. It touched me very much. How a mother, especially a very famous one, deals with the tragic suicide of her son is heartbreaking.

It gave me a bit of insight into how this hideous incident affected both her life as well as that of her equally famous son, Anderson Cooper. (well from Gloria's perspective at least.)

A short book, but a very interesting read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rolla Crockatt on March 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Easy read, very emotional book, the way she show strength after such a tragedy, love it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charles E. Bassi on December 25, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gloria Vanderbilt is an amazing person. how she has lived a life full of grief and kept pushing forward is inspiring. she is an prolific writer. i have read nearly all her books and i am looking forward to more. she writes the way she feels, is so willing to be vulnerable. moving.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
31 of 45 people found the following review helpful By R. Thomas Klapka on March 7, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book before I read her husband Wyatt Cooper's book, which was written decades before Gloria's book. I was confused to find that almost every single one of Gloria's 'memories' of her sons, mostly centering around Carter, obviously, were almost word for word taken from Wyatt Cooper's novel. This makes her book, titled A Mother's Story, so much more sad for me---does Gloria not have any memories about her sons that are her own?

Aside from that, she spends quite A LOT of the book basically doing the poor little rich girl routine. I'm sure she's had pain in her life, but everyone has! She goes on and on about how she's locked in a bubble and can't feel any real love, everyone that she's ever tried loving is taken from her, etc, etc, etc.

The book is really choppy; short passages taken from her diary, lifted memories, and she jumps back and forth to her son, Carter's suicide. After she describes the suicide she spends the rest of the book going on about how she had to see her surriviving son, Anderson, right in life and then she could be with Wyatt and Carter again. Very melodramtic, but it makes my heart break for Anderson--she quite obviously would rather be 'in heaven with Daddy and Carter' than paying attention to the son she still has.

The only reason I gave this book two stars instead of one is because it is a mercifully quick read.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?