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A Thoughtful, Heartfelt Memoir Born of Tragedy
on May 4, 2013
When Roger Rosenblatt's daughter, Amy Rosenblatt Solomon, died at 38, Roger and wife Ginny moved into the mother-in-law's suite of Harrison Solomon's house to help care for and provide loving continuity for the kids. Making Toast is an account of that period.
I came to know of Roger Rosenblatt through his essays on The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour on PBS. Now, I was curious as to how the Rosenblatts' lives changed with this new role, how they adjusted, what they did every day, how they envisioned the future, and many other questions relating to their new circumstance.
Reading this account, I was moved to tears at times, but also laughed at Roger's portrayal of himself as a humble, bumbling servant of the youngest child, a toddler. I identified with his role as grandparent-anthropologist, as he learned the culture of child-rearing all over again in the new millennium. What do they like to eat, read, watch on TV? What games to they play? What are their toys? Who are their heroes? What is a school day like for the elder two? As a childcare-providing grandparent myself, I identified with the loss of easy-breezy retirement time in service to the greater good.
This book was recommended to me as one I might include on my Midlife Fiction page on Facebook, (Facebook.com/Midlife.Fiction) because it illuminates the experience of navigating the second half of life. I've enjoyed Roger Rosenblatt's writing for many years, and this is no exception, although it feels insensitive to celebrate a book - however good! - that is born of such grief and trauma. My condolences and best wishes to the family.