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The Habit Kindle Edition
|Length: 256 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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More About the Author
I met my husband David in 1981 across the bar I was tending near his apartment in Hell's Kitchen. It may have been foolish, but I agreed to go on a date almost immediately, which, due to conflicting schedules, meant I had to see him in a play (this turned out to be sort of convenient, as it gave me a chance to figure out his last name by checking the playbill). Not long after his first entrance, I decided it would be best to marry him as quickly as possible.
I studied Meisner technique at the William Esper Studio, and we then moved to Los Angeles for David's work. Over a six-year period I managed to build up a bit of a resume - small movies, television, and plays. I was George C. Scott's daughter on Mr. President, Colleen Dewhurst and Candice Bergen's sparring partner on Murphy Brown, Peter Riegert's one-night stand on The Twilight Zone, and somebody's dead lesbian lover in an episode of Hotel. I ran a program on the side teaching horseback riding to disadvantaged kids, and I became a member of a theatre company, Circle Rep West. After we had our daughter and twin sons, things got complicated: Roused in the night by the Northridge earthquake in 1994, we found we had to leave our ruined house for good. So, within weeks, we landed back East in Philadelphia. Because I had always loved to read, I stopped acting and began editing books, freelance.
A few years ago my elderly mother got sick and we had some outrageous adventures trying to get her stabilized. It was stressful. I emailed nightly update rants to my siblings, and it turned out they were entertaining in a warped sort of way. A sister told me I had a book, and so I began to collect notes in earnest, becoming more and more amazed at the classic arc that unfolded. It wasn't just that my mother decided to drop everything at one point and become an Orthodox Christian nun. We had a damsel in distress (actually two, if you count me), a villain, a chivalrous knight, a whole background cast of those bumbling peripheral characters you get in Shakespeare and Chekhov, and even a stunning deus ex machina twist at the end. All I had to do was carry around a notebook, convince my mother her rectal cancer nightmare was worth sharing with the masses, and try to come up with a catchy title: The Habit, which became my first book. The second, The Dog Stays in the Picture, will come out on September 29 2014.
Top Customer Reviews
that its a combination of marvelous humor,and a certain sadness involved in the relationship between an eccentric,aging mother and her care-giving daughter, Susan. Its beautifully written,and very,very,very funny. A wonderful book.
I read "The Habit" nine months after my mother died. I did not have a good relationship with her so I was initially hesitant about reading Ms. Morse's chronicle of her relationship with her mother. My hesitation was unfounded and reading "The Habit" turned out to be surprisingly cathartic. The mother-daughter relationship envy that I anticipated never surfaced. In fact, instead of feeling sad and angry about what I didn't have with my own mother, I laughed and cried (good crying) and celebrated with Ms. Morse as she took me on irreverently poignant adventures through her life and her mother's life, which includes "Ma" becoming a nun at 85 years old!
"The Habit" can be appreciated by all, whether or not you're a parent, a daughter, a son, or a nun, if you enjoy an honest, well written and marvelously witty book then you'll enjoy "The Habit".
By Susan Morse
This book is a jigsaw puzzle. Ostensibly the story of the author's relationship with her mother, and especially the relationship between the grown woman with children who still need her and her elderly mother, no longer self-sufficient. The `sandwich generation' dilemma is omnipresent today, and likely to become more so.
`The Habit' is an engaging portrait of a mother who happens to be talented, difficult, eccentric-to the point that her journey culminated in becoming a nun at the age of eighty-five. And the book is more than a portrait of this woman and of her daughter. The ride that we go on addresses what it is to commit to anyone, and what a mysterious and complex journey it is.
Susan Morse observes her mother and others with great detail. She goes beyond what they have achieved and what their circumstances are; the characters, especially Ma, are very complex and do not escape incisive criticism. Susan's own spiritual pursuit can be described as a desire for a world in which people tell the truth. Susan conveys the fact that she understands only too well that the ability to be truthful must be learned. I gathered that Susan felt grateful for the twists of fate that have helped her. She can therefore comment on the failures of others with tenderness rather than contempt.
`The Habit' has spontaneity and weaves many themes together. It is clear that the structure has been scrutinized and that the pace is conscious, that the high points and the revisiting of some things and the positioning of others are deliberate. And it works really well. Much of the subject matter drags us into the heart of darkness that lurks in the frail human body but the book is at least as humorous as it is painful.Read more ›
The biography of this unusual family from Philadelphia is interesting; Susan's mother is a talented painter and Susan is an actress. But the silver lining of this book is the story of how Susan navigates the minefield of the health care system. Even with long term care insurance, finding proper care for her mother is a challenge and at one point, she sues a very uncaring HMO who frustrates her mother's rehabilitation with every turn, so much so that they are referred to, not as HMO but as the ESD (eat..s...and die, fill in the blanks.) Susan's battle with them is worth the price of admission alone.
This is an interesting book, amusing at times, frustrating at times, but will probably appeal to anyone with an aging parent or a non-conventional parent.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'd recommend to anyone. I'd recommend especially to anyone who loves a parent who is failing with age. Read morePublished 28 days ago by KA
Very funny accounting of a woman whose 85 year old mother becomes a nun. The mother is a riot and her daughter brings all of her oddities to life for one fun read.Published 5 months ago by Reads4fun
Dealing with my own aging parents, this gave me a not so shuttle reminder to keep my sense of humor. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kerry A. Neal
hard book to put down once you've started. very easy to relate to the characters. well writtenPublished 10 months ago by Vickp
I have completed this chapter of my life and Morris 's description is spot on. With that said, I still found the narrative a bit underwhelming and a bit self indulgent.Published 11 months ago by Mac
This memoir of a sandwich generation daughter caring for her aging mother is informative, funny and a worthwhile read. I definitely enjoyed it.Published 13 months ago by Carole
This was cute and fun reading. It was not deep just a quick read that was enjoyable.Published 15 months ago by susan engorn
This is a beautiful, witty, inspiring book about the relationship between Susan and her somewhat eccentric mother. I am looking forward to more work from her.Published 15 months ago by Lenora Burton
Very entertaining and insightful read. I would recommend "The Habit" highly. Hope to see more work from this fine author.Published 17 months ago by Bruce M. Quinn
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|The Habit - Book Club questions||
For our club, the hostess has to come up with question. We write them down on slips of paper and draw one each. Some ?? were--who will be your "Susan" in your later years?
What role did her siblings play? What happened to Susan in Ireland with the gardener?
Was the mom a good mom? How... Read More
Aug 1, 2012 by WWB-bookie | See all 4 posts
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