Someone Not Really Her Mother This masterful and compassionate novel is split into a series of interlinked stories that tell the tale of Hannah Pearl As Hannah s memory of the present begins to fade she increasingly inhabits the

  • Title: Someone Not Really Her Mother
  • Author: Harriet Scott Chessman
  • ISBN: 9780989302357
  • Page: 411
  • Format: Paperback
  • This masterful and compassionate novel is split into a series of interlinked stories that tell the tale of Hannah Pearl As Hannah s memory of the present begins to fade, she increasingly inhabits the world of her ardent and frightened youth in war torn France and England, while her memories of life in America with her daughter and granddaughters have almost been erased TThis masterful and compassionate novel is split into a series of interlinked stories that tell the tale of Hannah Pearl As Hannah s memory of the present begins to fade, she increasingly inhabits the world of her ardent and frightened youth in war torn France and England, while her memories of life in America with her daughter and granddaughters have almost been erased Throughout the book each character must negotiate the fraught intricacies of memory, geography, and motherhood The reader will discover and illuminate, with miraculous effect, all the pieces of this intelligent and dream like puzzle.

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      Published :2018-09-02T06:43:07+00:00

    One Reply to “Someone Not Really Her Mother”

    1. This is the book Virginia Woolf would write if Woolf were alive today.It's a novel in delicate watercolor. Yet, beyond the sunlit imagery, there are shadows.It's a story of mothers and daughters through years of love and loss, duty and hardship, overwhelming grief and as much joy. Chessman's rendering of an old woman's dementia iscredible, thoroughly authentic. All the voices, though distinct, blend beautifully into one cohesive whole.I'd almost call this book the feminine equivalent to Paul Har [...]

    2. This slender book, a novella really, inhabits the failing mind of an elderly woman, Hannah Pearl, in Connecticut, and those of the daughter and granddaughters who try and -- against the odds -- sometimes succeed in communicating with her. Through the medium of Hannah's memories and her present confusion, the book develops the story of her early years, when she left WW II France as a Jewish refugee child for safety in England, albeit without her cherished family, and the briefly happy life she ev [...]

    3. Hannah Pearl lives in a confused world of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Her mother put her on a train as a young girl to escape the war in France in 1940. As an adult with two grown daughters, she lives in the past. Her daughters try to bring her into the present without much success. They don't know what she suffered in her past.For me, the story (fiction) was difficult to follow & didn't keep my interest, although I read the entire book.You may enjoy the book, however. It was recommende [...]

    4. The young woman says Hannah like hand, with an h bold and blowing, just like that, and an a flat, like a marsh.  Hannah is used to this, but privately she thinks of her name as having an H only when you write it.  When you say Hannah, the word should open up at first, with no h at all, just a lovely “Ah!” and then another one.  “Ahnah!” with more fullness to the second “ah”.  How to tell the young woman this?Hannah Pearl feels words slipping away from her, people to be other than [...]

    5. Hannah Pearl is a woman in her mid-70's living in an assisted living home in rural Connecticut but in her mind she is a young woman living in WWII Europe. More than 50 years ago Hannah was that young woman, a 15 year old living in France with her parents and younger sister, Emma. Hannah's family was Jewish and when the war reached her town the family was split apart when Hannah's parents sent her to England to work as an au pair. Emma was too ill to travel so she stayed with her parents and all [...]

    6. The most interesting things about this novel are:1. The dementia-ridden narration of Hannah;2. The Holocaust being based on the French experience.Unfortunately, the book needs more. More of almost everything: character development, story development, interactions among the characters, etc.Some of the subplots seem part of the story just because. I'm not sure how much I care about Fiona's search for a nanny, her visit with the nanny in the wheelchair, or her anxieties over care for Seamus. And I [...]

    7. Weak in so many areas, namely underdeveloped characters and story with random granddaughter side plots that have nothing to do with anything. Can't imagine why this got any press and 4-5 star reviews, except that people are often impressed by their own personal connections to a story theme. I only read this book because it was recommended by some source that claimed it provided a good depiction of France, which it didn't even do at all, except Hannah's relapsing into speaking French and obvious [...]

    8. I was pleasantly surprised by "Someone Not Really Her Mother" - this little novel stuck out to me at a used bookstore and I purchased it for under $1.00. Upon reading, I was immediately drawn in by the main character, Hannah's account for her past and intrigued by her foggy sense of the present. Hannah is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, yet due to her dementia, lives in her teenage years in the 1940's. Harriet Chessman gives the reader an intimate glimpse into the mind and world of [...]

    9. One of my fellow book clubbers recommended and loaned this book to me and what an incredible little book. It is a novel of a woman with Alzheimer's and her family. It kind of drove me crazy how all the details of the main character's life are all jumbled and seem to be hiding just out of reach or just beyond the next corner but it is the story told mostly from her point of view that gives the novel such great depth and uniqueness. And I was SO mad about the ending. until I'd had a day to think a [...]

    10. Audiobook. A portrait of Alzheimer’s. As a family struggles to maintain a connection to their mother and grandmother, she struggles with a past she spent half a life trying to forget. The portrayal of Hannah’s disjointed thoughts as she travels through her fog was quite interesting, as were the reactions of her daughter Mir and her granddaughters Ida and Fiona. Ida and Fiona want to know more about Hannah’s escape from Nazi-invaded France, but they can’t quite connect. Neither can Hannah [...]

    11. It was a two-fer for the effects of Alzheimer's disease on families today. Here, Hannah has mostly lost touch with the present day, instead returning to the trauma of a fifteen-year-old departing France and leaving her family to be destroyed by the Nazis. In the intervening years, she has spoken very little of this to her daughter and granddaughters, who are unable to follow where her scattered memories lead. The sense of bewilderment in Hannah's chapters is acute. Her family tries to help her, [...]

    12. The main character, Hannah, is an old woman. She has a brain disease that has caused her to have a disorder of memories. She needs a walker to walk and she only speaks French. In some parts of the book she is able to speak a little English. Her husband, Russel is part of an army. She has a daughter named Miranda.This book is about a bunch of mothers and their grown-up daughters. It's also about relationships and having kids. Hannah is a survivor of the holocaust. She finds a long lost sister tha [...]

    13. Another lovely offering by Harriett Scott Chessman! Even though a short work, I feel connected to the characters as they unfold chapter to chapter/story to story. As the family learns to accept how Hannah is losing her memory for them and the everyday, they are also instrumental in the healing of suppressed memories just by their sweet interactions.Each of them have special connections with Hannah - Mir through French , Fiona through the baby, Ida through poetry - especially Hannah's poems and t [...]

    14. I enjoy the author's writing style, and this was no disappointment. The story is poignant to say the least. Having a family member losing herself and her family because of Alzheimer's, this hit close to home but not in a painful way. The insight into the three generations and the impact of Hannah's changing mind really captured the essence of how this disease or any like it affects an entire family.

    15. One of the points of view was really interesting (a woman with Alzheimer's) and one of the story lines was really interesting (a woman in love with her married professor), but it hopped around between the female characters too much trying to make a connection that I didn't connect to the characters as much as I would have liked to. Therefore, the supposedly emotional surprise at the end was neither emotional nor interesting.

    16. This is an emotional, insightful book. Hannah's daughter and grand daughters are trying to understand her behavior. Hannah is reliving her childhood during World War II that she had previously tried to avoid remembering. French is interwoven in the book as Hannah relives being separated from her family and the time that followed.Through reading this book I reflected on how much Alzheimer's Disease is a puzzle and loss for family.

    17. This was an interesting subject that could have resulted in a really great book in the hands of a more gifted writer. Unfortunately, Chessman does just an adequate job. Her characters seem frozen at a distance from us, and even the most developed among them could use more depth and nuance. Her portrait of a woman's slip into dementia is interesting and seems well-done, but her look at the effects on the woman's family could have used more fleshing out.

    18. It's about three generations of women, the oldest of whom was directly effected by the Holocaust, and is now battling Alzheimer's. The family is dealing not only with the present illness of the matriarch, but also the secrets about her life that she had never disclosed. I gave it two stars because the story never really seemed to go anywhereI kept wanting more from both the story and the characters.

    19. I enjoyed this book a lot. The story was interesting, as it explored love and familial relationships from the perspective of 3 different generations and 4 different women's points of view. I particularly liked the way/the writing style in which the author chose to tell the story. It's a quick and enjoyable read.

    20. Scott Chessman has a uncanny ability of getting to the heart of mother/daughter relationships in a few words. In this novel, she examines three generations of women-- what they reveal, what they remember, and what they choose to conceal. It is the best (and most true) book I have read about someone suffering from alzheimers.

    21. this book was too simple. the plot had a good skeleton, but nothing grew from it. It took 2 hours to read. my favorite part of the book is how the author describes dementia. it is not an easy illness to have, or watch others have and i think the author did a very good job describing the symptoms of this illness.

    22. A slim, readable but haunting book (a one-sitting work). The story traces three generations of women in the same family but pivots on the matriarch's past and present decline into what is not named but is probably Alzheimer's. Those current-day passages about Hannah are particularly insightful and well written. I also really liked the CT, particularly New Haven, references.

    23. A beautiful and tragic story of a woman losing her memory in her advanced age, and her children and grandchildren living their lives around her. The narrative is a scatter of memories and worries, relationships and regrets, delusions and lucidity, all told masterfully in glowing language.

    24. I heard of this story on the Today show. I would say the book was so-so. I love the premise of the book but felt like it wasn't all pulled together how I would like. Could have had better character development all around.

    25. This book really got to me. I'm sure part of it is that i work in a nursing home, but also the connection to WWII. I thought it was haunting and beautiful.

    26. Maybe it's because my mother is aging, and she lived through war-torn Berlin, Germany, but I found this to be tearfully poignant. Excellent POV.

    27. This is a really fast read, and a good one. A meditation on growing old and losing memory of the past.

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