Customer Reviews for

Making Toast: A Family Story

Average Rating 3
( 82 )
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(10)

4 Star

(18)

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(27)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Touching Recount of a Father's Grief

As a grief counselor, I found this book to be fascinating. The author was so open and honest in expressing his feelings and emotions while also recounting his day-by-day actions and those of family and friends. Seemingly without meaning to do so, he brought out many c...
As a grief counselor, I found this book to be fascinating. The author was so open and honest in expressing his feelings and emotions while also recounting his day-by-day actions and those of family and friends. Seemingly without meaning to do so, he brought out many concepts that I teach in my grief courses. That is, he lived what grief textbooks attempt to describe. Proof is that my copy of the book has many, many highlighted sentences and sections, which I plan to use in future sessions.

posted by katherine_nepp on April 10, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Dealing with death and the life left behind

Although I can't imagine losing my daughter, I also can't imagine my husband and I moving in with my son-in-law and helping him to raise their three children. That they can all move on together and help the children through is hopeful but I couldn't relate.

posted by 3038730 on April 24, 2010

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Touching Recount of a Father's Grief

    As a grief counselor, I found this book to be fascinating. The author was so open and honest in expressing his feelings and emotions while also recounting his day-by-day actions and those of family and friends. Seemingly without meaning to do so, he brought out many concepts that I teach in my grief courses. That is, he lived what grief textbooks attempt to describe. Proof is that my copy of the book has many, many highlighted sentences and sections, which I plan to use in future sessions.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good Read, Personal Insight

    As a pediatrician, I was intrigued to read this true story from a father's perspective about the death of his pediatrician daughter. I enjoyed the glimpse into the everyday life of a family that was ripped apart, then pieced back together in a new way. I loved the feeling of getting an insider's view of the small but important events that occur day-to-day in this family, as well as how each member of the family dealt with their grief. A good, solid read told from a unique perspective. A wide range of audiences will be able to relate to this story.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Was already a fan

    I was already a fan of Roger Rosenblatt's after hearing his thoughtful commentaries on The PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer. I love the cadence of his speaking voice, but decided to buy the book because I don't often do books on tape. I loved the sincerity of this book, how the author allowed us into his personal life at a very difficult and sad time, and how he communicated the truth of this difficult time with such delicacy. I do recommend this book.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Touching

    I read Making Toast in a couple days. It was a good read with touching and humorous moments. Although not having any children, I can relate to parents loosing a child. My parents lost a son @ the age of 44. It was devastating for them & our entire family. The fact that the parents moved in with Son-in-Law & took care of the grandchildren was wonderful. The day to day activities that took place with the family was enlightening. It's a terrible thing for a young child to loose their parent, but to have your grand parents move in & take of you & love you is wonderful.
    I would recommend this book for any parent.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    So raw in its reality and truth.

    I find this to be one of my favorite books. It is a family with a true beauty and what happens to all sorts of people. I laughed out loud and cried at several different points through out the book. Roger writes with professionalism but from his heart. I have already bought this as a gift within a week of buying it myself. I read it in 1 day it was so good I couldn't put it down!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2011

    Disappointed

    I should have known since he is a professor that he would be a lib and not believe in God. The parts about the children and what they did were charming, the rest is trash. That is exactly were my copy of the book is now.

    1 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    Dealing with death and the life left behind

    Although I can't imagine losing my daughter, I also can't imagine my husband and I moving in with my son-in-law and helping him to raise their three children. That they can all move on together and help the children through is hopeful but I couldn't relate.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2010

    a tender story about life and loss

    I read this book the second day I received it and was so touched I could not put it down. While reading some chapters I laughed so hard because it was so true and others I cried for the Rosenblatt family. I loved this book because it was written in essay form and it was easy reading all the way. I read this book in one afternoon. I wish the Rosenblatt family my sincerest sympathy and am sure his deaughter Amy,s children will cherish her memory along with the Rosenblatts. I would certainly recommend this book because it was so easy to read and very touching.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A touching family story of love and loss

    The worst pain a person can feel is the death of a child. Roger and Ginny Rosenblatt's 38-year-old daughter Amy, a doctor and mother of three young children, died on her home treadmill of an asymptomatic heart condition.

    Roger and Ginny left their home on Long Island and moved to Bethesda, Maryland to live and care for son-in-law Harris, and their three grandchildren: six-year-old Jessie, four-year-old Sammy and eighteen-month-old James, called Bubbies.

    Rosenblatt's memoir paints a portrait of the beautiful daughter they lost. He describes her as "a very clear person, even as a small child, knowing intuitively what plain good sense a particular situation required. " She was "both self-confident and selfless, (and) when she faced you there could be no doubt you were the only thing on her mind."

    While her clarity sometimes caused her to be brusque with her brothers Carl and John, it also "contributed to her kindness". Rosenblatt tells of a time when Amy was six-years-old, and a friend got carsick in the backseat of his car. The other two friends in the car moved away from the sick girl, but Amy moved closer to comfort her sick friend.

    Roger and Ginny were thrown back into a world of caring for young children. Roger is in awe of his wife, who jumps right in and with boundless energy helps with homework, makes school lunches, comforts a crying baby, and attends soccer games with the moms and dads of her grandkids' friends.

    He writes of her selflessness, and in what I think is the saddest sentence in the book, Ginny states, "I am leading Amy's life", she says in despair, yet comfort too." It breaks her heart when she eats dinner alone with her son-in-law, knowing that it should be his wife, her daughter, there listening to him talk about his day.

    Roger bonds with a man he hires to turn his garage into a playroom for the grandkids when the man's college-aged son dies. Men generally don't share deep feelings with other men, and this relationship is moving. He also hears from so many other people who have suffered a similar loss, and it surprises him how many people there are in the same situation.

    After a year passes, Roger and Ginny wonder if their son-in-law still wants them to stay. There is no question that they are where they need and want to be, and they sincerely wish for their son-in-law to someday find a new woman, knowing that he "will choose well".

    Making Toast puts me in mind of Calvin Trillin's memoir about his wife, About Alice. Both books are slim, yet Rosenblatt, like Trillin, paints a full portrait of a special person he loves with carefully chosen words. It's about coping with unexpected loss, raging against the unfairness of it, while at the same time carrying on the day-to-day living that must continue. Roger and Ginny's tribute to their daughter's legacy is to step into her life and care for her family. Their story will touch (and sometimes break) your heart.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2010

    An an achingly beautiful memoir about grief, appreciation, and life going on

    Roger Rosenblatt's daughter died in her thirties, leaving behind a husband and 3 small children, at which point Roger and his wife moved in with them. As with Rosenblatt's other writings, it can be read at several levels. Through everyday details, one gets a glimpse of how they keep going, what's difficult and what's precious, and how a loving community helps. The book contains sadness, happier moments, and humor; experience and reflection. Gorgeous.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2013

    Well, this book was a bit of a disappointment to me. I actually

    Well, this book was a bit of a disappointment to me. I actually chose it for my "fun read," and I regretted that choice once I began reading it. I am so glad I was not ever asked to review this. The author may be a fine writer in his own stead, but what he had to say truly struck me the wrong way. I know that I try to divorce myself from the content when it comes to reviews, but there were so many things I did not like about the book the I do feel justified in giving this the rating I did.




    The best part of the book for me was the reason he wrote it. I fully understand and appreciate that he wrote this as a tribute to his daughter who died from cancer at such a young age. My heart indeed goes out to him, and I believe that this was his way dealing with his grief. I do believe this exercise was healing for him, and I would never discount a parent's nor family's grief in this instance. I believe that he seemed to be more able to cope with his grief by the end of the book, so perhaps the book served its purpose.




    However, there were some issues with the content and the writing. I found the writing rather disjointed. I felt that I never fully understood any of the characters since he jumped around so much. I believe his journalistic career may contribute to this style of writing, but I would have preferred a more succinct narrative.




    Profanity was minimal, and bedroom scenes were nonexistent. Often there was an intimate look at raw emotions from those she left behind. It didn't bother me all that much that the author chose not to believe in God, but it added a dimension of despair to this book. Taking the stance that there is no afterlife means that you will not see your dearly departed loved one again. It seemed like the author (although mad at God) almost wanted to believe, but he wouldn't let himself. This book honestly became an exploration of grief in death without God. I found myself getting depressed, and even some of the lighter moments did not save this book for me.




    Understand that this is nothing but my opinion, and I was not asked to review this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    Save your monry.

    May be a decent magazine article but not a book. Superficial, lots of name dropping, aren't we too special to have this happen to us feeling.

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  • Posted May 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Written by the father of the lady that died, this book tells of

    Written by the father of the lady that died, this book tells of life in the year or so after. The author and his wife went to live with their son-in-law to help raise their three young grandchildren. Pretty good, but disappointing too. I was really looking forward to reading this book, but while I did find parts of it interesting, most of it was boring. The book is written as a collection of essays.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    Boring

    It's not that I didnt' like it but it was boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Gorgeeou Gorgeous

    Spare, loving, and full of insight.

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  • Posted November 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    sweet simple story

    ebook.

    this book brought me to the verge of tears quite a few times..but the honest positivity of the author kept bringing me back to a place of subtle melancholy. i found it an inspiring and beautiful read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    Recommend

    A very touching story of death, grief and family survival.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    Inspiring and encouraging

    As I read this wonderful story I wondered if I would be able to do what the author and his wife did after the tragic death of their daughter. Their actions demonstrate the true meaning of family love and caring. A great book.

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  • Posted March 3, 2010

    A lovely essay on life after loss

    Making Toast is very well written. I didn't like putting it down because it was an easy read, with the well-chosen language of a good writer. I enjoyed seeing the daily life of a family struggling with unexpected death. How does one go on after losing an adult child who had yet to fully live life? How does one help young children make day-to-day choices in the light of the loss of their beloved mother. For these reasons, the book was lovely. I felt I could see into the family and slog with them through their toughest year. No, this is not the book to read if you need something gut-wrenching to connect to. This is not the book to read if you expect to feel the pain of such a family. It is not the book to read if you are looking for someone to walk beside you in your own grief. This is a book to read that will help in knowing how to walk alongside someone you know who has had great loss. It deals with the practical. The emotions that aren't necessarily "correct" at any certain time. People say and do things that are real--but not necessarily accepted in polite company. I enjoy walking with people through their life events that I have not experienced. I like to read a variety of levels of this kind of walking and observing. This is a higher level. A more surface level, yet revealing nonetheless. I would have given it four stars if it had been a step deeper. If I felt it would appeal to the masses. I don't want to mislead anyone into thinking this is a fabulous book. It is very good. Very well-written. But it holds back. And for good reason. It's too soon to write the story of deep anguish.

    The simple act of Making Toast is a good theme for this book. The practicality of life that is expressed in a way that shows love and compassion can be as simple as making toast.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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