From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author: Roz Chast
Title: Can’t we talk about something more pleasant? : a memoir
You’ve undoubtedly seen Roz Chast’s artwork and cartoons, and probably derived pleasure and a few laughs from them. The answer to the question posed by the title is, “Yes, we could talk about ‘something more pleasant, but we’d miss out on the valuable story this book delivers.’ ”
Roz Chast’s parents were elderly, and were slipping slowly, but unfortunately, surely towards their last days. Chast, their only child, is thrust into the role of caretaker, a role she certainly didn’t consider to be one she desired. She details, in remarkable frankness and candor, her varying emotions towards this – many of which emotions are less than pleasant. Her artwork, which is featured throughout the book, elevates it to an even higher level. This is a book for adult children of elderly parents, for parents themselves, for caregivers, or for anyone. A particularly important piece of take-away information is to have that potentially uncomfortable talk about medical treatment at the end, last wishes, etc., while you can still have it comfortably and coherently, instead of waiting until all hell breaks loose and then fumbling around in the dark.