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


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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 (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

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See all 20 customer reviews
I loved this book and read it in one sitting.
Maryland Mom
Just a terrifically honest and heartwarming -- and ultimately heartbreaking -- love story.
Stephen K. Wollmer
Which seems like an awfully good thing to have attached to one's passing.
George Slade

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave B on October 26, 2012
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By An Avid Reader on October 24, 2012
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pamela R. Satran on October 24, 2012
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen K. Wollmer on December 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joan Thorn on November 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a fan of Leslie Brody's journalism, I knew I wanted to read "The Last Kiss" but I wasn't sure what to expect. A male friend who read it before me said "Joan, it's a love story - it's not about dying. It's about how to live." He also said he felt he knew Leslie's husband after reading the book, and wished he could have been friends with him. After I read the book, I knew what he meant. Leslie brings her husband to life in these pages, and writes with beautiful honesty about the beginning, and the end of their time together. After I read it I said to a friend, "It makes me want to be nicer to my husband" and she immediately replied "I know" and mentioned a mutual friend who said he made him want to cherish his wife more. Also a great book for anyone interested in the art of memoir writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SB from CT on November 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the very first page, Brody's vibrant and confident voice draws you into her tale and keeps you engaged until the very end. Brody is an excellent story teller. She describes the experiences that led her into Elliot's arms and the magical world they were able to create together. The intense sadness you feel for their loss is lessened somewhat by the realization that they were lucky to find each other and to know true love. Brody writes with clarity and grace. Her inspirational book has universal appeal and will inspire every reader to follow the example of these exceptional yet familiar people who found the courage to make every moment count. I highly recommend this book!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maryland Mom on November 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
I loved this book and read it in one sitting. The author brings you right into her world and you find yourself laughing and smiling a lot more than you'd think, considering the story is about such a profound loss. I recommended it to some of my good friends who have also lost spouses -- but also to others who know the pain of losing a loved one, especially if they've been the primary caregiver. If you've ever taken care of a terminally ill person -- you know what I'm talking about...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Leslie Brody hopes "The Last Kiss," which is full of romantic emails, will inspire more husbands and wives to write love letters to each other.

She lives in New Jersey with her children in a simple house high on a hill with a magnificent view of Manhattan. She loves reading, skiing, biking, sailing and cooking for friends, and is finally trying to learn tennis.

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