Her Last Death: A Memoir

Susanna Sonnenberg, Author
Susanna Sonnenberg, Author . Scribner $24 (273p) ISBN 978-0-7432-9108-8
Reviewed on: 10/08/2007
Release date: 01/01/2008
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-1-84408-298-8
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-6980-4
Book - 978-0-7435-6981-1
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4165-5415-8
Hardcover - 427 pages - 978-1-4104-0670-5
Paperback - 273 pages - 978-0-7432-9109-5
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Sonnenberg's curse is her beautiful self-centered and crazy mother, who lies continually, does drugs and navigates through the world with sex as her sole point of reference. Her father is cold and distant. Add in abundant family money, and you have the story of a young girl who grows up in a world of privilege, abuse and despicable behavior all around. Readers get a good dose of drug use, foul language, manipulative behaviors, an accounting of Sonnenberg's affair with her high school English teacher and one chapter titled “Sex with Everybody.” The freelance writer's story is titillating, and her writing is strong and clear, though the power is diluted when she blurs the lines of nonfiction: “I have conflated or changed some events and dialogue, and created occasional composites.” Readers not bothered by the conceit will likely follow along through the outrageous and nasty operational tactics of Sonnenberg's mother until the story line leads to her redemption. (Jan.)

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