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Memoir of a Good Death Paperback – September 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Thistledown Press (September 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189723581X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897235812
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.5 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,743,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Memoir of a Good Death is Anne Sorbies debut book...[It] takes a lot of chances; the story, for most part it, is straight realism but the point-of-view is very post-modern, the story is straightforward but there are lots of surprises along the way...This is a highly literary novel that could easily see standing the test of time and getting a lot of scholarly attention. Its a very dense book, and I really mean this as a positive. As I read I thought it was a bit of a contradiction, there is a ton of story, but yet not much really happens. The story is set in a relatively narrow time frame and there a really a small number of characters. All of these things combined made Memoir of a Good Death a very satisfying and original read...This is not a book that you can rip through in a couple days, if you do you will lose the magic of the story. Memoir of a Good Death is a dark and esoteric novel that will haunt you long after it is back on the shelf. --Canadian Book Review, 2011

About the Author

Anne Sorbie was born in Scotland and now lives and writes in Calgary, Canada. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in literary journals and magazines. Memoir of a Good Death is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you decide to read Anne Sorbie 's Memoir of a Good Death and it starts a bit slow for you, don't give up and don't despair. That is exactly what happened to me with this book. It is the story of Rheegan, a women in her thirties who, along with her mother, Sarah, is trying to deal with the death of her father.

In the beginning, I had a hard time identifying with the main characters, especially that of Rheegan. My first impression of her was that she was going to be another one of those run-of-the mill self absorbed characters that you sometimes find in books on family dynamics. As the story progressed, though, and I got into the rhythm of the book, I became enthralled by the behaviors of both Rheegan, and Sarah. Soon I was greedily turning pages, wondering where the story was going to go, what strange behaviors the characters were going to exhibit next, and how those behaviors were going to impact both them and the people around them. By the middle of the book, I was wondering exactly how Rheegan was going to die (no spoiler, she tells us she is going to die in the first paragraph of the book). And then I got to the end, which smacked me right in the face. By the time I finished this book, I realized that this is no run-of-the-mill story of family dynamics and mother-daughter relationships. Rather it is a story of two women dealing with the aftermath of death, while trying desperately to reconcile their very different ways of handling the situation.

Rheegan and Sarah are not the only interesting characters in this book. The author has filled the book with people who are anything but ordinary. In some cases we get to spend quite a bit of time with them, in other cases, we are only afforded brief glimpses. Even these brief glimpses, though, are fascinating.
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By Tamara on January 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
Memoir of a Good Death was only just an o.k. book for me. It is the story of a woman who goes through life searching for something that she does not seem to be able to find. She marries several men and seems to have an interesting relationship with her parents, calling both of them by their first names and having somewhat of a distance with her Mother. The story for me went on for a little too long with too much detail about canoeing and the ending is very sad. There are those that may find this book interesting but for me it just left me kind of glad it was over.
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Format: Paperback
MEMOIR OF A GOOD DEATH HAS BEEN LONG LISTED FOR THE ALBERTA READERS' CHOICE AWARD, 2012!

WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING:

The ending is wholly absorbing, absolutely riveting! - Alberta Views

Memoir of a Good Death is a dark and esoteric novel that will haunt you long after it is back on the shelf...The Canadian Book Review

'When the dead speak we must listen. Anne Sorbie's dead and eloquent narrator is full of wild humour, pain, rebellion, compassion, wisdom. And she tells a wickedly good story.' ~ Robert Kroetsch

'Anne Sorbie's novel is of duality and contrasts, of landscapes, of the natural world, ... of death and living, of grieving and celebrating, of holding on and letting go'' ~ FreeFall Magazine

'In an unusual approach that works surprisingly well, [the characters' lives are] inextricably joined to the identity of place'' ~ Canadian Rocky Mountain Outlook
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Format: Paperback
What a gem of a book!

I agree with other reviewers who stated that this book was wandered into with trepidation due to the heaviness of the topic. I am happy I wandered in though. This book was fantastic and haunting, yet thought provoking. One which will keep the reader thinking long after the book is done with. As someone who has read well over 600 books in 2011, this is rare!
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By McGuffy Ann Morris on November 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a creative novel, written as a type of memoir. Rhegan tells her story from "the other side". It is an emotional story of her bond with her mother, Sarah.

Sarah learns more about Rhegan after Rhegan's early passing. Throughout the story, as it unfolds, the memoir becomes two-fold. It becomes a memoir of a mother-daughter relationship.

We are reminded again that love does not die, that love surpasses death. Death can even help us to understand things we don't see or know during a person's life. With grief and understanding comes eventual healing.

Anne Sorbie writes a creative novel celebrating a life while grieving it. Heartbreak and happiness do indeed often intertwine. Life and death complete a circle, but we don't ever have to fully let go, because love goes on.
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