If you don’t know by now, I love reading. I could even finish 2 books in just a few days. However, when I was given the opportunity to review this book (The Center of the Universe: A Memoir written by Nancy Bachrach), I could not put this book down at all!
When it happened, Nancy Bachrach was enjoying a feeling of well-being, living and working in Paris, where the principal exercises are digestion and strolling. Meanwhile, a jolt of bad karma delivered a knockout punch to her family in their hometown–ironically enough–of Providence. Her father, Mort, has been found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning aboard his cabin cruiser, the aptly named Mr. Fix It, Her charismatic but unhinged mother, Lola, the self-proclaimed center of the universe, is at a seaside hospital, lingering, her chart says, in a comma. Nancy’s brother, Ben (formerly Mr. Junior Rhode Island, a nine-and-a-half-fingered piano prodigy and eventual surgeon), and their sister, Helen (the wild child, a professor of abnormal psychology), sit by their mother’s ventilator, waiting for signs of life while eyeing the plug. Thus begins a family reunion, with preparations under way for a double funeral over the Memorial Day weekend.
Nancy Bachrach’s stunning debut is a darkly comic tale of genius, madness, ineptitude, and collateral damage; a hilarious, mordant memoir about her mother, whose medical history reads like the chapter headings of a psychiatric manual and ends so improbably that it could only be the truth. It is a brilliant, beautiful story of the haphazard tyranny of an accident and the serendipity of love.
What’s my take? I absolutely l oved it! Bachrach is witty and funny. As she described her family, it makes you realize that not every family is perfect. She shows you her childhood, and how her mother was always going to an institution because she was under “a lot of pressure.”
She introduces you to her brother, Ben, who is a musical genius turned surgeon who was born with three thumbs (I was born with an extra thumb on my right hand!). You also get to meet her sisiter, who is an “abnormal psychologist.” I’m not even sure what an “abnormal psychologist” is!
This is the first time I have a read a book like this- and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I do believe. I will be getting mmore books exactly like this from the book store. So, if you like witty authors, memoirs, or in need of light reading, check out this fantastic book! It is Nancy Bachrach’s first book. I will guarantee you a good read!