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The Last Kiss: A True Story of Love, Joy and Loss Paperback – October 9, 2012

5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Progressing Through Grief: Guided Exercises to Understand Your Emotions and Recover from Loss by Stephanie Jose, LMHC, LCAT
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Editorial Reviews

Review

  • "Beautifully written and completely heartfelt...Brody takes her trained eye as an observer and writes unflinchingly about the man she loved, herself and her kids...A compelling read." - Jacqueline Cutler, The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)


  • "I love this book because it is so honest. Leslie Brody writes openly about what it is like to watch her husband slip away. Some of her stories will break your heart, others bring a smile to your face. Yes, The Last Kiss is a portrait of loss...but also, and more importantly, of a life lived fully." - Meredith Vieira


  • "This is a beautiful, heartbreaking memoir of love and loss. It is as singular in its merciless truths, and as universal in its unwavering humanity, as the disease that sponsors this narrative. And yet the abiding faith in family, in humor, in grief, in love that abounds on these pages triumphs - and insures the immortality of all involved."                                                                   - Ken Burns, filmmaker


  • "Terrific! This is a beautiful book and a brave book, one full of lessons about how to cope with death, but also how to live. It is a story of pain and loss, weathered by humor and grace, and by a great love. Leslie Brody's story is buoyed on every page by compassion and kindness, her own and others."
                    - Kevin Baker, author of New York Times bestseller Paradise Alley

  • "This is a story about the enduring power of love, courage and strength. To read it is to be reminded of what life -- and death -- is all about. Leslie is a character we cry with and root for." - Tom Hallman, Jr., Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Sam: The Boy Behind the Mask and A Stranger's Gift: True Stories of Faith in Unexpected Places


"This is a beautiful, heartbreaking memoir of love and loss. It is as singular in its merciless truths, and as universal in its unwavering humanity, as the disease that sponsors this narrative. And yet the abiding faith in family, in humor, in grief, in love that abounds on these pages triumphs - and insures the immortality of all involved."

"I love this book because it is so honest. Leslie Brody writes openly about what it is like to watch her husband slip away. Some of her stories will break your heart; others bring a smile to your face. Yes, THE LAST KISS is a portrait of loss...but also, and more importantly, of a life lived fully."

About the Author

Leslie Brody covers education for The Record newspaper in New Jersey. The Last Kiss, her first book, grew out of a national award-winning series in The Record called "Living with Cancer". She has been a reporter for The Associated Press in Tokyo, Fortune Magazine and The St. Petersburg Times. A 1983 graduate of Yale, she lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her children.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Titletown Publishing, LLC; 1 edition (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098524786X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985247867
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,322,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book immensely on a number of levels. Brody tells a story -- unbearably sad but also hugely moving and inspirational -- that she obviously knows all too well. Her professional journalist's eye and ear have clearly captured the objective facts of the trajectory of her life with, and then without, her husband, just as the best friend/wife/widow in her captures and conveys the nuances and subtleties of their life together.

You will find yourself truly caring about -- and rooting for -- her and her husband, and even laughing with them as Brody takes you on a journey. Brody has managed to be write an incredibly moving book without being maudlin, no easy feat and a trap that most similar books fall victim to.

Brody's unflinching honesty is what largely carries the day. She freely admits to fear, frustration, helplessness, grief and her perception of her occasional selfishness, as well as her husband's foibles as mate and stepfather to her children. She acknowledges the negatives as freely as she does the apparently boundless love that she and her husband both found in their second marriages.

This book is as inspirational as it is sad, and is a highly worthwhile read.
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There are a few reasons why I loved this book.
The language is easy to understand - the story just unfolded easily..
It was a beautiful tale .. sad - but beautiful.. It is a grand description of love and bonding in the struggles of a gave situation. I never read much fiction, as the love stories seem so translucent - non-fiction has the facts. - I never thought I would find a Romeo in a non-fiction script - until Elliot - charming even in his darkest of times - a true lover of his wife Leslie - and she returned the sentiments. Leslie lets you inside some vulnerable times - hospital stays with Elliot and her challenges as a caretaker and mother with her husband and extended family.
The dynamics of love, death and a glimpse into a new beginning...
On a side note - I am a North Jersey girl - and found it interesting that this took place close to home - Montclair NJ, Hackensack NJ - Guilda's Club, The Record, and NYC..
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Format: Paperback
The Last Kiss is a devastating memoir about finding the love of your life and then getting the worst news possible. Brody tells her story with great honesty and insight into the emotions that go with nursing and loving her husband for the last two years of his life while he was suffering from pancreatic cancer. The book covers their relationship from friendship to a passionate marriage and the successful merging of their two step-families. I have never read a book that deals with the emotional rollercoaster of cancer treatment with such detail, sensitivity and personal honesty about the impact on the survivors as well as the patient. The surprising thing was how much joy and sweetness Brody and her dying husband were able to realize during this tumultuous period. The Last Kiss has much to teach us about making the most of our lives, appreciating the people we love and having the resilience to love again.
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Format: Paperback
I love this memoir of a beautiful marriage and finding joy and even hope in the face of devastating loss. Brody writes gorgeously and movingly about how life and love go on no matter what, how the worst news does not erase happiness, and how the spirit can triumph over the physical. This story is a must-read for couples facing illness, yes, but also for anyone interested in the true meaning of a successful relationship and a happy marriage. You may expect that this book will make you cry, but you'll be surprised by how much it makes you laugh.
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I'm going to admit I know Leslie but 20 years had seperated our relationship. I google her one day in 2008 and found her at a newspaper in NJ. We had the honor to meet Elliot one time at a dinner after one of his treatments which one has to admit might not be on the "to do" list for most people, why meet new people even though they are a part of your wife's years in Japan so long ago, but then that is proof of Elloit's "I love life even though at this moment it is not want I intended."

Leslie is a GREAT writer, it is a "can't put down" book. I think it is an encouraging book for any careprovider. It is an insight on how to adjust and love life through the "C" word, even a manual of positive attitude woven with spurts of those sneaky things that roam into our minds.

Buy this book, give this book. It will help someone for sure.
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Leslie Brody's true story is an emotionally rewarding journey, taking the reader through her all-too-brief second marriage and its premature ending following her husband's terminal illness. She writes with honesty, love, humor, and compassion about the impact of his illness and decline on two merged families, with particular sensitivity to the effect of his loss on their children. But in the end, this is a love story, and a beautiful one at that. Brody shares with readers her journey through the elation of meeting her lifelong love, her shock at his diagnosis, her struggle with his treatment, her lapses into anger and exhaustion, and the transformative lessons she learned through her husband's death. It's a book that will make you laugh out loud and cry openly, without being maudlin or formulaic. Just a terrifically honest and heartwarming -- and ultimately heartbreaking -- love story.
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