Making Toast

Making Toast

3.63 (4,355 ratings by Goodreads)
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"A painfully beautiful memoir....Written with such restraint as to be both heartbreaking and instructive."

--E. L. Doctorow

A revered, many times honored (George Polk, Peabody, and Emmy Award winner, to name but a few) journalist, novelist, and playwright, Roger Rosenblatt shares the unforgettable story of the tragedy that changed his life and his family. A book that grew out of his popular December 2008 essay in The New Yorker, Making Toast is a moving account of unexpected loss and recovery in the powerful tradition of About Alice and The Year of Magical Thinking. Writer Ann Beattie offers high praise to the acclaimed author of Lapham Rising and Beet for a memoir that is, "written so forthrightly, but so delicately, that you feel you're a part of this family."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 166 pages
  • 138 x 208 x 16mm | 181.44g
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0061825956
  • 9780061825958
  • 301,462

Back cover copy

From O magazine to the New York Times, from authors such as E. L. Doctorow to Ann Beattie, critics and writers across the country have hailed Roger Rosenblatt's Making Toast as an evocative, moving testament to the enduring power of a parent's love and the bonds of family.

When Roger's daughter, Amy--a gifted doctor, mother, and wife--collapses and dies from an asymptomatic heart condition at age thirty-eight, Roger and his wife, Ginny, leave their home on the South Shore of Long Island to move in with their son-in-law, Harris, and their three young grandchildren: six-year-old Jessica, four-year-old Sammy, and one-year-old James, known as Bubbies.

Long past the years of diapers, homework, and recitals, Roger and Ginny--Boppo and Mimi to the kids--quickly reaccustom themselves to the world of small children: bedtime stories, talking toys, play-dates, nonstop questions, and nonsequential thought. Though reeling from Amy's death, they carry on, reconstructing a family, sustaining one another, and guiding three lively, alert, and tenderhearted children through the pains and confusions of grief. As he marvels at the strength of his son-in-law and the tenacity and skill of his wife, Roger attends each day to "the one household duty I have mastered"--preparing the morning toast perfectly to each child's liking.

Luminous, precise, and utterly unsentimental, Making Toast is both a tribute to the singular Amy and a brave exploration of the human capacity to move through and live with grief.
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Review Text

"Rosenblatt...sets a perfect tone and finds the right words to describe how his family is coming with their grief... It may seem odd to call a book about such a tragic event charming, but it is. There is indeed life-after death, and Rosenblatt proves that without a doubt." USA Today
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Review quote

"[A] gem of a memoir... sad, funny, brave and luminous....[a] rare and generous book."--Los Angeles Times
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Rating details

4,355 ratings
3.63 out of 5 stars
5 22% (947)
4 34% (1,500)
3 31% (1,358)
2 10% (453)
1 2% (97)

Our customer reviews

Well, this book was a bit of a disappointment to me. I actually chose it for my "fun read," and I regretted that choice once I began reading it. I am so glad I was not ever asked to review this. The author may be a fine writer in his own stead, but what he had to say truly struck me the wrong way. I know that I try to divorce myself from the content when it comes to reviews, but there were so many things I did not like about the book the I do feel justified in giving this the rating I did. The best part of the book for me was the reason he wrote it. I fully understand and appreciate that he wrote this as a tribute to his daughter who died from cancer at such a young age. My heart indeed goes out to him, and I believe that this was his way dealing with his grief. I do believe this exercise was healing for him, and I would never discount a parent's nor family's grief in this instance. I believe that he seemed to be more able to cope with his grief by the end of the book, so perhaps the book served its purpose. However, there were some issues with the content and the writing. I found the writing rather disjointed. I felt that I never fully understood any of the characters since he jumped around so much. I believe his journalistic career may contribute to this style of writing, but I would have preferred a more succinct narrative. Profanity was minimal, and bedroom scenes were nonexistent. Often there was an intimate look at raw emotions from those she left behind. It didn't bother me all that much that the author chose not to believe in God, but it added a dimension of despair to this book. Taking the stance that there is no afterlife means that you will not see your dearly departed loved one again. It seemed like the author (although mad at God) almost wanted to believe, but he wouldn't let himself. This book honestly became an exploration of grief in death without God. I found myself getting depressed, and even some of the lighter moments did not save this book for me. Understand that this is nothing but my opinion, and I was not asked to review this more
by Ruth Hill
I am just ordering Making Toast right more
by Edda Woywod
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