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Summary

New York Times best-selling author Helene Wecker (The Golem and the Jinni) brings us inside the disintegrating mind of a German-Jewish grandmother in this sometimes chilling, sometimes heartwarming, consistently riveting story.

When Gerda Kohl moves from the home in which she raised her family to a posh new retirement center, she must decide what to take with her and what to leave behind. This includes not only photographs, furniture, and mementos but weightier items, too - warring daughters, rebellious grandchildren, and the ghosts of a past that seems increasingly more real than the present.

©2015 Helene Wecker (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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  • S. Kraft
  • 30-07-19

a very short story on downsizing

This is a very short story and seems like she wasn't finished. Wecker could have let us see more than one viewpoint or given us something more to put us into the situation these three women were going through. She left the deep places of emotional hugs and lows and sense of displacement up to the reader's own experiences or expectations of elder care.
Given her earlier work, I know she is a skilled writer who gives us the character's nuanced and shifting moods and tells.
I give this work a solid B. I hope her next iteration of the story gives us, the reader, the complex interplay we've come to expect from her work. Keep going, Helene. Dive deep.

4 people found this helpful

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  • CBDC
  • 09-03-19

Aging

Sad but true picture of aging, and the minds sliding between now and then. And the confusion of where we are now.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Duane
  • 16-01-21

The way it is

I used to be a caregiver. This story brings back memories of the people I helped stay at home. Going to an impersonal warehouse for old people is what you strive to keep your charges from. Now I’m old enough to have a young person to come live with me to help keep me at home
I have joined the ranks of dependent care.

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  • Chicwithbees
  • 22-08-20

beautiful!

Helene Wecker, has the rare and unique talent of being able to capture human emotion and portray it in a way that allows the reader to feel it. I have enjoyed this short story and her other writings I look forward to more!!

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  • Evelyn
  • 15-04-21

A long life well lived

Loved how much I learned about Gerda in 27 minutes. Excellent short story. Beautiful ending.