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Making Toast: A Family Story Paperback – February 15, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Rosenblatt gives the history of Amy, his young, brilliant, beautiful daughter, and of her sudden death.
He and his wife immediately, instantly, abandoned their own rich existences to move into their daughter's home. They wanted to assist their son-in-law with the three very young children, one barely a year old.
Rosenblatt and his wife Ginny, through their actions, show themselves to be people of the greatest empathy, self-sacrifice, generosity and sensitivity, trying to find the balance of their places in their new home.
I have attended lectures that Rosenblatt had given at the State University at Stony Brook, where he is a Distinguished Professor. From this report, it is astounding to see this brilliant man evolve into "Boppo," which is what his grandchildren call him, a nickname quickly adopted by their friends. He is the creator of silly songs, the chef of the perfect piece of toast. (Hence the book's title.)
This is a lovely book, a touching and lyrical book. MAKING TOAST is about the power of love.
Amy Rosenblatt Solomon is happily married, works two days a week as a physician so she can devote more of her time to her young family, to whom she is devoted. The youngest of her three children is only year old. Yet Amy dies suddenly while on the treadmill in her family home, with two of her children in the room with her as the only witnesses. It is inexplicable, unbearable, impossible, but it is reality, and the family has no choice but to cope.
Her parents, Roger and Ginny Rosenblatt, move in with their grandchildren and their son-in-law to help. This is an account of the first year.
It is honest, seasoned with humour and darkness. The page after Rosenblatt tells us just how severely he cursed the God he doesn't believe cares about human beings anyway, we read of the adjustments grandparents make to having children in their lives again, in this case, the talking toys that have re-entered their lives and embarrass them by speaking up from within their suitcases at the airport.
They learn where the toys, tape, and tools are kept, how everybody likes their breakfast, and they learn again that children have no respect for sequential thoughts.
They also learn that belief that things will be better after a year is a delusion. Grief is a lifelong process, and their therapist tells them, a year is no time at all. A year is harder because that is when you realize it isn't really going to get better. This is how life will be from now on.Read more ›
The biggest lesson I extracted from "Making Toast" is that, even though life moves forward after the death of a wonderful human being, time does not necessarily "heal" the wound or help us fill the void.
I was also left full of deep admiration for Roger & Ginny Rosenblatt and Harrison Solomon (Amy's husband). They were able to come together in such a loving and respectful way in order to keep the children from floundering in the midst of a very confusing loss. I have great respect for adults who sacrifice in order to keep the next generation whole in body, mind, and spirit. That said, I'm sure neither the Rosenblatts nor Mr. Solomon consider their actions sacrificial.
I know the Rosenblatt's aren't perfect, but I don't think we could find a more respectful set of "in-laws" on the planet. Amy was a wonderful person because, in the best of ways, the "apple didn't fall far from the tree."
This is not the kind of book that keeps one riveted. But is not a read that you will regret either. Those who've recently been through such a loss may find "Making Toast" helpful.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This memoir is about a retired couple, Roger and Ginny, who live in New England who take on the roles of parents again when their grown daughter dies of a freak heart condition. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nancy A
Roger Rosenblatt has always seemed a bit disengaged as I know him only from his PBS News Hour commentary. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Catherine
I feel I have discovered a new author; unbelievably, I lived in DC for years and probably enjoyed his work in the Sunday Washington Post Magazine and the NY Times Magazine. Read morePublished 4 months ago by catherine jameson
A deeply moving personal account of how the author and his family deal with the sudden death of his daughter. Read morePublished 4 months ago by sef
A very warm and caring book..I think emotionally honest. Rosenblatt always gives the reader (me) the feeling that our listening is important to him, that our attention matters.Published 5 months ago by Claire Ruder
I feel awful writing negatively about a distinguished writer who has suffered such loss, but I found this memoir really boring. Read morePublished 7 months ago by SunnyinTucson
I was already an admirer of Roger Rosenblatt when I read Making Toast, and this book furthers my regard. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Linda