BN.com Gift Guide

Imperfect Endings: A Daughter's Tale of Life and Death

Overview

After twenty years of living with terminal illness, Zoe FitzGerald Carter's mother decided to end her life—and asked her three daughters for their assistance. For months, the decision dragged on as her mother changed her methods and schedule, and the negotiations stirred up old memories, sibling rivalries, and questions about family loyalty. Eventually, there was compromise and courage, and Zoe's mother had her happy—if imperfect—ending.

Zoe and her sisters struggled to accept ...

See more details below
Audiobook (CD - Library - Unabridged CD)
$53.99
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$59.99 List Price
Other sellers (Audiobook)
  • All (4) from $40.02   
  • New (3) from $40.02   
  • Used (1) from $0.00   
Sending request ...

Overview

After twenty years of living with terminal illness, Zoe FitzGerald Carter's mother decided to end her life—and asked her three daughters for their assistance. For months, the decision dragged on as her mother changed her methods and schedule, and the negotiations stirred up old memories, sibling rivalries, and questions about family loyalty. Eventually, there was compromise and courage, and Zoe's mother had her happy—if imperfect—ending.

Zoe and her sisters struggled to accept the imminent death of their mother, circling around the same questions: Who will help her? Will they go to jail? Can they bear to let her die alone? With a doctor prescribing lethal doses of sleep medication, a visit from a member of the Hemlock Society's "Final Exit Network," and the temptations of overdosing on morphine, the issues and people in Imperfect Endings are at the center of the debate on assisted suicide.

With echoes of bestselling grief memoirs like Elegy for Iris and The Year of Magical Thinking, Carter's memoir is the unforgettable story of a family learning to love and to let go.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I love this book! Zoe Carter has taken what could be a very sad story and turned it into something beautiful and incredibly insightful." —-Kate Lehrer, author of Confessions of a Bigamist
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400146246
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Library - Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Zoe FitzGerald Carter is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and has written for numerous publications, including New York magazine, the New York Observer, Premiere, and various national magazines.

Karen White has been narrating and directing audiobooks for more than a dozen years and has well over one hundred books to her credit. Honored to be included among AudioFile's Best Voices 2010 and 2011, she is also an Audie Award finalist and has earned multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration and direction.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 12, 2010

    wonderful book

    I loved this book. It was a a page-turner that addressed a serious subject with honesty and humor. I wanted to jump right into the story, have my say, befriend the characters...a tribute to Carter's ability to create a world with her writing. I was truly sad when the book ended, because it meant I had to say goodbye. a great read !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2010

    Exquisitely Written, Invaluable Book

    Imperfect Endings is a memoir about a daughter's struggle to support her mother's decision to end her life after years of illness. The author, Zoe Carter, writes with enormous emotional clarity of their family life and the ways in which she cared for her mother in her final days. Carter manages to infuse the pages, which deal with a serious subject matter, with searing wit and universal family stories. This is an exquisitely written, invaluable book for all those who have, or will one day experience, the death of someone they love.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 31, 2010

    Not to be Missed!

    I loved Imperfect Ending - it is an absorbing, poignant and well written book. I love how Carter takes a situation that people tend to deal with in a black and white way and writes about it in a really personal, emotionally nuanced way.

    Aside from dealing honestly with the issue of her Mother's decision to end her life, it is also a beautiful mother daughter story. Their relationship changes and evolves as they come to terms with her mother's decision. You come to understand both of them and love them both through the process.

    I think it's a successful memoir partly because it reads like a novel. I find with with most memoirs that I lose interest about half way through but this is a story you absolutely stay with till the end. It is insightful, heart warming, and also honest and painfully real at times. Not to be missed!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2010

    A beautiful memoir whose wit provides a delight unexpected for its topic

    I tore through this book. Ms. Carter delivers a portrait of her family moving with grace and good humor through what would otherwise seem an unimaginably wrenching situation. Carter shows great skill in rendering multiple voices of her family members. It was a delight to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 14, 2010

    Page-turning account of heart-wrenching dilemma

    Zoe Carter is a wonderful writer. She succeeds in creating page-turning suspense throughout this book--even though we all know what the end will be. This is the story of the dilemmas facing the loving daughter of a woman who wants her children to assist her in committing suicide. The reader becomes engrossed with Carter's struggle to find the right way to react during the last few months of her mother's life. We empathize as her feelings shift--sometimes accepting, sometimes rejecting, sometimes opposing and sometimes trying to ease--her mothers steps to take her own life.
    For those who are in favor of the principle of assisted suicide, this account of one woman's personal journey underscores the complexity of the issue. At the same time, it surely creates a broader and more sympathetic understanding on the part of those who are opposed to this and other morally-ambiguous issues.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 15, 2010

    Someone must get this book into the hands of Ron Howard or Penny Marshall, stat!!!

    Riveting and intimate, this deeply moving and personal story allows one to escape into another reality. Exquisite depictions engaging all of the senses bestows the reader with the experience of being Zoe, past and present. Pulled in from the first few words and grieving at the last because, alas, it was all over . . . will there be a sequel?! What happened with her mother's caregivers? Her mother's friends? The eldest sister? How is she and her family doing now? I WANT A MOVIE!!! Perhaps a Ron Howard or Penny Marshall movie with Rene Russo playing Zoe Fitzgerald Carter. Thank you so much, Zoe, for putting your neck out and risking personal repercussions on this controversial subject. It is about time for all to see the compassion and unconditional love required in allowing a loved one the dignity to choose their own ending; a dignity we already offer our beloved canine and feline companions.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2010

    Could Not Put This Book Down

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up Zoe Carter's memoir Imperfect Endings. It tells the story of how her mother asked her to help her end her life and Zoe's subsequent struggles with how to deal with this incredibly difficult request.
    Well, I could not put this book down, literally, I was reading through meals and into the night until I reached the very end. I haven't been touched by a book like this in years.

    It's really a book about family and the dynamics of family life. Where Carter is so good is in her ability to create such wonderful insight into the relationships between family members by describing what first appears to be a humdrum scene. It charts honestly the relationship between herself and her two sisters through her childhood and then as adults, looks at how their mothers request to die both brings these three sisters together and pushes them apart.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    a beautiful book

    This is a beautifully written book about a fascinating topic -- how do you respond when a parent wants to end their life? Carter brings a light touch to a tough topic and manages to weave in riveting sub-plots about her warring sisters, her philandering father, and an adolescent eating disorder. Thought-provoking, moving and surprisingly funny. A great bookclub selection!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)