cover image Bobby Wonderful: An Imperfect Son Buries His Parents

Bobby Wonderful: An Imperfect Son Buries His Parents

Bob Morris. Twelve, $27 (192p) ISBN 978-1-4555-5650-2

Morris (Assisted Loving), commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered, takes an introspective yet humorous look at the final journeys of his critically ill parents. His story is hardly unusual among baby boomers; he says that 65 million Americans are caregivers, and “seven out of ten”of those 65 million provide care for someone over 50, hoping to help parents without neglecting the quality of their own lives. While trying to endure the concluding days of his mother, suffering from a blood disease, and his suicidal father, who faces heart surgery, Morris writes sensitively about his conflicts with his older brother, the medical complications of “comfort care,” and the attempts to provide the “perfect ending” for loved ones. Long before the book closes on an upbeat note, Morris explores the many shapes of loss and grief, with a few mischievous asides and recollections punctuating the most painful event possible: “But that’s how families cope—with an unspoken letting go long before the actual death. It eases the pain of the final parting.” Packing in more substance and smiles than are usually found in this genre, Morris has written a profound and timely chronicle. (June)