April 28, 2011

The Right to Die

Imperfect EndingsDo you believe in the right to die? Would you prefer a quick, painless death or to wither away? If a loved one is suffering, would you assist their suicide? The recent Vogue featured book Imperfect Endings is a daughter's story of love, loss, and letting go. It poses such questions and more.

Zoe's mother, Margaret, has congestive heart failure, asthma, chronic pulmonary disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, low blood pressure, occasional bouts of passing out, signs of dementia, and Parkinson's disease. Margaret didn't want to suffer. She wanted to end her life...with her daughters help. Writing Imperfect Endings is Zoe's attempt to find peace with how her mother died. It goes into detail of the fine line between legal and moral repercussions. 

First-time memoirist Zoe FitzGerald Carter couldn't have explained it better. She incorporates dark humor and raw sympathy while raising difficult questions. With each chapter, we read the emotions that Zoe, her sisters, and her mother goes through. This touching memoir is a great book club pick. Despite the depressing topic, it is sure to spark a heated discussion about morals and the right to die. I'm so touched by the author's candid decisions that I plan to write her a personal e-mail. This story and its sensitive subject will stick with me. I couldn't help but be reminded of the controversial Dr. Jack Kevorkian. If you haven't seen the HBO film You Don't Know Jack, then check out the trailer below. It was very good!

My only pet peeve - of no fault to the author - is the binding. Every single page of the paperback detached from the book's binding. It wasn't from wear because it only took me a few days to finish reading it. It actually arrived in the mail with the first thirty or so pages loose. As I read and turned each page, it fell apart. Very distracting!

Title: Imperfect Endings
Author: Zoe FitzGerald Carter
Published: March 2011
Pages: 272
Edition: Paperback
Rating: ♥


  1. That was a great review and I am going to put this on my list of books to read! I've read a few memoirs and have liked every one. This is a touchy subject. That would be a very hard decision to make and I would like to read this book and see how it turns out.

  2. Thanks Cheryl. This subject is very controversial and touchy. It makes you question your reaction if faced with the same issue. Let me know your thoughts after you read it.

  3. I must add this to my list as well. When it's time for me to go just take me. I don't want to live in a state of pain or not being able to care for myself.

  4. Spinks, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Nobody wants to suffer or live in a state of helpless pain. This book really puts assisted suicide in its perspective.