When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Family, Faith and Funny People

Jeannie Gaffigan. Grand Central, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5387-5104-6
Comedy writer Gaffigan presents a surprisingly hilarious story about surviving a brain tumor in this debut memoir. Also a producer and mother of five, Gaffigan (who is married to comedian Jim Gaffigan) ignores increasingly annoying symptoms—declining hearing in one ear, balance problems—until a doctor insists she get checked out. The resulting MRI revealed a pear-shaped tumor (the inspiration for the book’s title) crowding Gaffigan’s brain stem—and turned her life, and her family’s, upside down. Throughout a difficult period involving a tracheotomy, feeding tube, and a stay in the intensive care unit, Gaffigan never loses her sense of humor, even when eating has been a struggle for several weeks. She also relays other difficult times in her life—especially an earlier loss of a much-wanted premature baby daughter—with grace and unflinching honesty. Her Catholic faith is evident throughout and her accessible writing style and honest voice create an intoxicating spell as she writes tenderly of learning the importance of living in the moment. Whimsically, Gaffigan thanks her brain tumor in her acknowledgements, for teaming her with outstanding medical providers and for inspiring her loving family. Readers will be uplifted by Gaffigan’s perseverance and outlook. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/08/2019
Release date: 09/03/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-0011-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-5252-8
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