BETTYVILLE: A MEMOIR -- a humorous, bittersweet account of a man’s caring for his aging, irascible mother
Bettyville: A Memoir by George Hodgman (2015, Viking; 288 pages)
When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay.
As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman’s New York Times bestselling debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son’s return.
This is an intricate story of an elderly mother and her son who returns home to care for her as they try to find connections, love, and meaning in their lives and struggle to redefine themselves and to reconcile the reversal of their family roles. The reader is drawn into the book by the characters as they work through old regrets and unsaid thoughts as they pass through these poignant days together.
Find this title in our catalog: Bettyville
Recommended by: Marilyn