Never Coming Back by Alison McGhee

Never Coming Back

When Clara Winter left her rural Adirondack Mountain town for college, she never looked back. Her mother, Tamar, a fiercely independent but loving woman who raised Clara on her own, all but pushed her out the door, forcing Clara to build a new life for herself, far from her roots, far from her high school boyfriend, far from the life she has always known.Now more than a de...

Title:Never Coming Back
Author:
Rating:

Never Coming Back Reviews

  • Laurie

    I found this a little slow-moving and low-key, but I didn't give up on it. A solid three-star read. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing an e-galley for review.

  • Chris

    “Never Coming Back" is a deeply moving exploration of growing up and growing old, and the ties that bind parents and children – and the mysteries that sometimes keep us apart.

  • Diane S ☔

    3.5 She left for college after the love of her life broke up with her, and didn't return for many years. Not until see hears that her mother s suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and has sold their home,all her possessions and entered nursing home. When. Rachel finally returns, looking for answers, she finds it too late, her mother, still fairly young, has very little memory left. She regrets never learning more about her mother, her mother's life and the burning question, Why did Asa breakup wi

    3.5 She left for college after the love of her life broke up with her, and didn't return for many years. Not until see hears that her mother s suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and has sold their home,all her possessions and entered nursing home. When. Rachel finally returns, looking for answers, she finds it too late, her mother, still fairly young, has very little memory left. She regrets never learning more about her mother, her mother's life and the burning question, Why did Asa breakup with her after talking to her mother?

    This is a novel of loss, different types of loss, but loss all the same. It is beautifully, almost poetically written, but often repetitive as Rachel learns some answers to her questions. It is slowly paced, the kind of novel one needs to savor for the language and the emotion. Sometimes it almost had a YA vibe, as Rachel, now an adult still has many of the traits of her younger self. Almost as if she is stuck, needing the answer to the big question, needing to discover her mother's role in what became of her life. Jeopardy is a big part of tis, one of the ways Rachel connects to her mother in the nursing home. Also a connection between her and her college friends, Sunny and Brown, great characters, and loyal friends.

    At a pivotal point in the novel, when she finds what she needs to know, she has this realization. "But the thing I hadn't known wen I was young and lacked perspective was that his love would always be with me. It was part of me forever. A room inside a room inside a room, a room that was always warm and bright. I could go and sit in that warmth whenever I wanted."

    Thought the above quote wonderfully expressed sentiments all of us could use when dealing with an almost unbearable loss. There is friendship here and mother's love that put her child's welfare above her own happiness.

    ARC from Edelweiss.

  • Hannah

    This book was tender and simple and mesmerizing and filled to the brim with things that are dear to me, (mothers, daughters, memory, the loss of memory), and it left me with that choking feeling that is both joy and sorrow. To only truly begin to see your mother for the real human person that she is, not the mythical fearsome immortal unknowable beast that is Mother to so many children both young and grown, in the moment that she begins to disappear is a most terrifying prospect. I know I see my

    This book was tender and simple and mesmerizing and filled to the brim with things that are dear to me, (mothers, daughters, memory, the loss of memory), and it left me with that choking feeling that is both joy and sorrow. To only truly begin to see your mother for the real human person that she is, not the mythical fearsome immortal unknowable beast that is Mother to so many children both young and grown, in the moment that she begins to disappear is a most terrifying prospect. I know I see my mother differently, more fully, and with more compassion every day as I grow older and this book was a firm but gentle reminder of how important that process is.

    The plot was predictable and while I would usually be annoyed by that, in this case, it felt like something sturdy to lean against in the midst of the raging winds of watching someone you love fade away into a person who doesn't know you. I enjoyed this book so deeply and I look forward to sharing it in the future.

  • Sue

    This is a beautifully written, thought provoking look at a mother and a daughter and their acceptance of each other as the mother is losing her memory to early on-set Alzheimer's. To be honest, I almost didn't read this book because I just lost my mom and I knew it would be difficult to read about losing your mom but instead this book made me more thankful for my mom because we had no great secrets and I always knew that she was a person separate from being my mom. This novel is the journey of t

    This is a beautifully written, thought provoking look at a mother and a daughter and their acceptance of each other as the mother is losing her memory to early on-set Alzheimer's. To be honest, I almost didn't read this book because I just lost my mom and I knew it would be difficult to read about losing your mom but instead this book made me more thankful for my mom because we had no great secrets and I always knew that she was a person separate from being my mom. This novel is the journey of the main character learning to love and accept her mom and to realize that he mom always put her daughter first in her life. A beautiful story!

    Thanks to Book Browse for a copy to read and review. All opinions are my own.

  • Virginia Myers

    I need to explain up front that I am a happy and healthy 83 year old woman living in a retirement community. Unfortunately, I have witnessed friends and family members reach a point in life where they, too, have become victims of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Some of those people have struggled to find the way “home” and some have continued to live without seemingly being aware of the fact that they are “lost”.

    So, wow! How should I describe my feelings about this book? I usually can find the

    I need to explain up front that I am a happy and healthy 83 year old woman living in a retirement community. Unfortunately, I have witnessed friends and family members reach a point in life where they, too, have become victims of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Some of those people have struggled to find the way “home” and some have continued to live without seemingly being aware of the fact that they are “lost”.

    So, wow! How should I describe my feelings about this book? I usually can find the words to express my feelings about the books I have read, but this one really stumped me. The first word that comes to my mind is: “weird”. I read another review that called the book heartwarming and fascinating. Not! The book left me feeling very uneasy.

    The author made me feel as if I had been inside the brain of a 31 year old woman (Clara) who is facing the problem of how to deal with her 51 year old mother (Tamar) who is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease. As I read the book, I identified with Clara and it was not a comfortable feeling. I should have identified with Tamar, but the book did not let me do that. So, how do you rate a book that left you feeling disturbed?

    I think the author was able to describe the mish-mash of Clara’s feelings of loving concern and yet deep seated resentment about why she and her mother have never been able to really know and understand each other. Yet, now that I have completed reading it, I am not sure I understand what has happened.

    I am not good at figuring out the abstract – and too me, the resolution of Clara’s search is not clearly stated. I think Clara finally was able to find relief and an ability to look forward to the rest of her own life but I still feel somewhat confused. I don’t think that was how the author wanted me to feel. I guess I am just not smart enough to grasp the message.

    So I am going to give the book a rating based upon the author's artistry but just between you and me I cannot really say I enjoyed it.

    I must add that I received this free book under the First Impressions drawing by BookBrows by promising to do a book review. The words set forth above are my honest personal feelings about the book.

  • Janilyn Kocher

    Never Coming Back started out to be promising, but then dropped off. I just could not get into this book. The transitions were choppy and confusing. The main character would have conversations with herself in the midst of a paragraph and I did not care for the format. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.

  • Liz

    cavebookreviews.blogspot.com

    The relationship between a mother and daughter is uniquely tenacious but can be fraught with danger when mother grows older and the daughter more independent. Many mother-daughter relationships are a source of the greatest love and support. Girls talk about parents as their best friends in growing up, but just as often some relationships are volatile chemical interactions, ready to blow up when a new layer of life appears and threatens to destroy one or both. Clara Wi

    cavebookreviews.blogspot.com

    The relationship between a mother and daughter is uniquely tenacious but can be fraught with danger when mother grows older and the daughter more independent. Many mother-daughter relationships are a source of the greatest love and support. Girls talk about parents as their best friends in growing up, but just as often some relationships are volatile chemical interactions, ready to blow up when a new layer of life appears and threatens to destroy one or both. Clara Winter is the daughter of Tamra Winter, a single mother who is tough, rough, and singularly protective of Clara. The problem is that Clara and Tamra do not agree on what kind of future Clara should pursue.

    The struggle between mother and daughter begins with Clara's choice of college. When Clara's boyfriend breaks up with her, she follows her mother's plan but drifts away from her and their home in the Adirondack mountains of New York. Clara is fortunate that she makes lifelong friends with two people at her college in New Hampshire and they help her navigate life when she urgently needs friends.

    After college, Clara makes a life for herself in the Florida panhandle as a reporter and then a writer. When Tamra's best friend, Annabelle, tells Clara that she needs to come back and check on her mother, the story takes off with life-altering choices and facing painful memories. Tamra, at 50 years of age, has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. Tamra's decline is unmistakable, and Clara knows she needs her help, so she goes back to Florida to pack up and move in with Tamra.

    At this point, Tamra exercises her self-dependence and makes life-altering changes before Clara can get to Florida and back, in one week. Re-establishing a relationship with a parent after ten years is difficult enough without the muddle of brain plaque impeding conversation, reason, comfort, and affection. Clara is clearly in it for the long run but in the meantime wants to understand why Tamra did things that affected Clara's life so deeply in a hurtful way. She wants to know her mother and love her again as she did when she was a child. Clara's wish may be one all of us have at some point in our life when things are changing quickly, and we know that there is no going back. The future looks bleak, but that is the only direction life is taking us.

    Alison McGhee's novel is a lovely collection of thoughts about love for a mother and the love and extreme sacrifices that women make for their daughters. The novel is a beautiful story about the love between a mother and a daughter, even when we think it might just be too late. Don't miss this one. It is one to be savored and treasured.

    Thank you, NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the opportunity to read this ARC.

  • Maureen Timerman

    With this read we delve into the relationship of a mother and a daughter, and with this bond, it has always been just the two of them.

    Loosing a parent is never easy, but watching your parent die mentally little by little is very heart wrenching. The main character here is Clara and we watch her grow and learn about her mother Tamara, and it comes after her mother has entered an assisted living at 49.

    This story makes you realize that each day is not a given, and we see Clara trying to make sense

    With this read we delve into the relationship of a mother and a daughter, and with this bond, it has always been just the two of them.

    Loosing a parent is never easy, but watching your parent die mentally little by little is very heart wrenching. The main character here is Clara and we watch her grow and learn about her mother Tamara, and it comes after her mother has entered an assisted living at 49.

    This story makes you realize that each day is not a given, and we see Clara trying to make sense of what has happened, and wishing she could ask those questions that only a mother would know. Then with the Alzheimer’s diagnosis there is the question of carrying the gene, a lot to deal with.

    One of the reasons I read this book was it takes place near where I live, I have traveled many of these roads and visited a lot of these places.

    I received this book through Edelweiss and the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and was not required to give a positive review.

  • Kristina Knapp

    "Too bad there wasn't an early-warning system for moments like that, moments you could never forget even if you wanted to. Only after the fact did you realize that a certain time in your life was over, and you would never get it back. You once had been whole, and now you weren't."

    My reviews can also be found on my blog

    .

     

    Trigger warnings: not very many, but

    I've been struggling with how to write this review all day. This

    "Too bad there wasn't an early-warning system for moments like that, moments you could never forget even if you wanted to. Only after the fact did you realize that a certain time in your life was over, and you would never get it back. You once had been whole, and now you weren't."

    My reviews can also be found on my blog

    .

     

    Trigger warnings: not very many, but

    I've been struggling with how to write this review all day. This isn't the type of book I normally read so my normal ways of approaching the review won't work. 

    I was surprised by how much I like this. It's a very tender story about a woman who has to face her own regrets about her history with her mother, and try to uncover all those questions she's been too afraid to ask while her mother's condition rapidly deteriorates. Clara moves home with the intention of being her mother Tamar's caretaker, only to find that Tamar has sold Clara's childhood home, purged all her belongings, and moved into a memory care facility, leaving Clara to move into a tiny one-room cabin where she uses her large book collection to form her furniture. In coming home, Clara is forced to confront things left unsaid between her and her mother - those harsh words shouted in the dark, unanswered questions about why Clara's high school boyfriend broke up with her with no explanation, and who Tamar really was outside of her role as Clara's mother.

    In this moving story, we get to see all the ways in which relationships form our lives. From Clara's mother to a new love interest to her two best friends to her mother's best friend, every character brings light and life into this story. All the players are well written and endearing. The book itself was just about the right length too. The closing line was beautiful, and there are a lot of quotable sections in this book on everything from love to parenting to reading. 

Books Finder is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.