book review: Making Toast: A Family Story

By Roger Rosenblatt

This is a heart wrenching, yet not dramatic, look into a family faced with tragedy. Mr. Rosenblatt’s daughter suddenly dies while running on her treadmill from an undiagnosed heart problem. She was 38, the mother of three, and a doctor.

We are lead along as Mr. Rosenblatt describes, in largely chronological vignettes, how his life changed after his daughter’s death. We hear his thinking out loud about how his relationships with everyone have changed. We are made aware of the kind of fugue people walk around in after they lose someone. We suffer other losses with Mr. Rosenblatt.

The two lines that spoke greatest to me where first, when the children’s nanny tells Mr. Rosenblatt that: “You are not the first to go through such a thing, and you are better able to handle it than most.” The other line that spoke to me was about the need to value the passing of time. Quoted from David Loge’s Deaf Sentence, “If there have been, at various times, trifling misunderstanding in our life, now I see how one was unable to value the passing of time.” So true.

Mr. Rosenblatt tells the reader at one point that his two sons go into have their heart tested, to make sure it will not happen to them as well, but Mr. Rosenblatt leaves the reader hanging on this one point: we never find out if his sons are ok. No news is good news I suppose.

Worth a quick read or as a gift to a grieving friend.

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