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The Worst Day of My Life, So Far

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3.12 of 5 stars 3.12  ·  rating details  ·  275 ratings  ·  51 reviews
In The Worst Day of My Life, So Far, acclaimed novelist M. A. Harper takes us into the complex mind of Jeanne Roth, a middle-aged woman forced to return to a home state she'd rather forget. An unlikely caretaker, Jeanne must come to terms with a past filled with the shadows of her mother--a once vibrant femme fatale now suffering from Alzheimer's. As she watches her mother ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 26th 2002 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 2001)
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Jackie
This book was I have read a lot of books in my life and this one is absolutely amazing. From start to finish I was so into this book that I never wanted to put it down and found myself almost burning food and get back to work late from lunch due loosing track of time. It is an amazing story of a woman who felt she never fit in with her beautiful families life, who gave up everything she did have to take care of her mother how is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. There were times when I hated h ...more
Robin Wright Gunn
This novel, set in a dead end town in Louisiana, is the first person account of a woman caring for her mother who has Alzheimer's. It is written as if it is her diary plus a manual for people who may be in this situation, and despite the depressing-sounding premise, has some hilarious moments and is a page turner.

It seems apparent that the author speaks at least in part from her own experience or has done some incredible research.

I didn't like the first chapter, at first it seemed a little "Ya Y
...more
Doris
A really fine novel, exceptionally well written, very humorous, and yet very hard to take. A middle aged woman whose marriage has ended (her husband cheated), and her father has recently died, returns home (near New Orleans) to care for her mother, suffering from Alzheimers. She and her beautiful, strong-willed mother have had a difficult relationship and as she struggles to survive (mostly just barely) as a caretaker she must come to terms with their past. Any reader that has faced a similar si ...more
Mich
after reading reviews here i wasnt too sure about this book. i liked it.i would give it an 'almost' 4 star rating if it were possible.
the main charaacter is a 40 something woman who grew up with 'issues' regarding her mother. the woman ends up moving back home to care for her mom who now has alzheimers. i think it was a very honest book, even tho several have tho't she was whining a lot.
there were many places i could relate to what the woman was feeling thats for sure-maybe thats why i liked it
...more
Corielle
Ooh, this book packs an emotional punch that left me reeling, but unable to put it down. I read the entire thing in one night. Woke up the next morning with what felt like a hangover.

The Worst Day of My Life, So Far stars Jeanne Roth, who at the age of 40, has returned to her shitty little hometown to care for her mother, who was never very nice to her even before the Alzheimer's set in. Jeanne is divorced, lonely, jobless and unhappy. Her mother alternates between a state of childlike feeblenes
...more
Christine
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Dyana
If you are tired of reading happy feel-good stories, stories with a "wrapped-up" ending, or ones where the characters discover who they are and change for the better, then this book is not for you. This was a thoroughly negative story about Jeanne Roth who must return home to Auletta, Louisiana to care for her mother who has Alzheimer's. Jeanne is a woman who does not love herself, considers herself unattractive, has issues with her family, and resents this life-change of taking care of a person ...more
MaryAnn
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Jennifer Cooper
Meh. This book had an interesting premise, but it was so unrelentingly negative that I couldn't really enjoy it. Jeanne, the main character, grows up in a small town in Louisiana. Her life is shaped by her parents (particularly her mother) and their seemingly perfect relationship. When her widowed mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Jeanne decides to come home to care for her. I was hoping that the book would give some insight into caring for a parent, or into how our parents shape our ...more
Jeni
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Dlhmoore
I chose this book because the author is from New Orleans and she shows many scenes in the city. I had the feeling that it was a memoir of sorts, but the author doesn't confirm that.

The story profiles a young woman who was part of the hippie world of the 60's. Her rebellion and life style was well portrayed. She then gets older, marries, makes a mess of marriage and child rearing. She is then called "home" as her mother is ill with Alzheimer's. She moves into the house in a fictional town called
...more
Jen Mendeck
This book is scary, especially if you have a history of Alzheimers in your family like me. Maybe it was a little bit too much realism for me. You'd hope that after reading through chapters of uncomfortable suffering there would be a life lesson or affirming thought at the end, but the book ends abruptly with little sense of anything accomplished except surving through a trying experience.

I hope I don't have to make the protagonist's decision: wrench my only surviving parent from the familiarity
...more
Beth Roth
Darkly funny. Delves into some pretty heavy territory but not without laughs. Not for readers who have to have happy endings where everyone lives happily ever after.
Mum
Jul 24, 2011 Mum rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
Given that it was written over a decade ago, there are things we know now about Alzheimer's that we didn't know now, I'll give some of it a pass. I had forgotten how much things have changed in the last decade, both in NYC and New Orleans. I kept thinking the humor wasn't humorous. I had started this book about three times before, and put it down because I didn't get the humor, or to me it fell flat, but this time I focused on the story.M. A Harper tried to make it read like a memoir, but that f ...more
Jenna
Great premise, good character outline, never managed to develop them or make you care about any of them. Should have focused on the mother daughter illness thing, and forgot about the cuckolded brother, the gay son, and the pathetic ex. Although I liked them more than the protagonist by a lot.
Kael
Having had a grandmother who suffered through Alzheimers and a grandfather who was with her every step of the way as primary caregiver, I found a few moments in the story that pained me at the thought of what they both must have been feeling (or not feeling) during those later years. I struggled, however, with the ending, which I felt came far too abruptly. There was not enough resolution for me, just as there is not enough, or any, resolution for the families of Alzheimers patients. A key inten ...more
Irene
Nov 13, 2007 Irene rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: older women
Pretty interesting so far. Not the best of this type I've ever read, but the author gives an interesting and sometimes amusing view of dealing with Alzheimer's.
It's not a "can't put it down" book, but worth reading, especially if you've been the caregiver of a terminally ill parent. The author's viewpoint is somewhat wacky at times and hard to relate to insofar as her feelings about her mother are stated, but perhaps dealing with Alzheimer's could do that to a person. The ending was high drama,
...more
Joy
The subject of the book isn't the happiest subject but I felt like the character was looking for extra sympathy. I also didn't like that she referenced her parents by their first names and the other times as mom and dad. It felt like disconnect between the family where you knew she at least had a good relationship with her dad. Also the ending was not what I had expected. Had wished for something different.
Blueberry
I picked up this book because I felt like it might shed some light on my own experience with loosing my Mom. But I found it incredibly depressing - there were a few humorous portions but overall there was nothing redeeming about the story line. I kept fining myself asking -- what is the point? What is the author trying to say and I couldn't pull anything truly worthwhile out of it.
Jennifer
Another depressing book that is not grabbing me. I'm about half-way through, and I'm over it. It's hard enough some days to cope positively with my own life, and besides,I've got too many other things to read that look more interesting. I've read better books telling the story of mother/daughter relationships and caring for a loved one (or not very loved one) who is ill.
Andrea Nicole
Gotta say I was disappointed in this book. While the subject matter hits close to home, it didn't speak to the subject matter as much as I thought it would. Not to mention, it left many of the characters unfinished. Assuming the writer wanted to lead you to your own conclusion, the time spent in reading the story only left me with questions.
Diane
The author appears to know what it's like to love and care for someone with Alzheimer's and that's why I gave this book two stars. It gets one star on writing style and interest. It was an overwhelmingly negative book with undeveloped sub-plots and one dimensional characters. There were attempts at humor but it seemed forced.
Bobbi
Stuck in small-town Auletta, La., Jeanne Roth is run ragged caring for her Alzheimer's-afflicted mother. But it is her realization that her whole life has been lived in the shadow of her parents' perfect marriage that truly exhausts her, making her reevaluate her relationship with her ex-husband and college-age son.
Marie
I enjoyed this book - the humor is great - nothing thats going to have you laughing to tears or anything, just the author being witty when there really is not any other way to be.
Velma reminds me of my good friends mother and I began to wonder if any of this will replay to me in real life later on...
Kathy
Somewhat whine-prone and what is it about the emergence of literature all about how amazing someone's mother is? - especially if she was a housewife during the 1950's... I'm not saying that mother's aren't amazing, (we are) but was it because of the stunted-view of women in that time period or what?
Molly
This was the saddest book ever. Also, very funny. Not often do I have to say, through its of uncontrollable laughter, "This woman (ha ha ha) is being (ha ha) sexually assaulted (snicker)." Which made me feel like pretty much the worst person who ever lived.

So, yes, read this book.
MaryJohanna
I was hoping this book would provide some insight into Alzheimer's caregiving and the changing relationships between parent and child in the face of this disease.
Not so, for me.
I found it to be a self-centered pity party and couldn't wait to get through it.
LuAnn
Interesting look at caregiving, this is the story of a mother and daughter who have often had difficulties in their relationship. Now, the mother is suffering from Alzheimers and it's up to the daughter to care for her.
Truly a good book and I learned a lot from it.
Julie
This was a thoughtful, interesting book that dealt with the complexities of the family structure in a realistic fashion. I enjoyed it, and think it's a book I might pick up when I'm older just to get a different perspective on the narrator's views towards aging.
Christine Mello
I liked this book. The family dynamics were interesting. The subject matter was thought provoking. I enjoyed discussing some of the issues from this book with my mother. Alzheimer's runs in our family. This book was good.
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85836
M. A. Harper drew pictures all during her childhood and was pretty good at it, but none of them seemed complete without a caption. When she went to Tulane University to study art, her professors praised her technical ability but labeled her an "illustrator". Wrong. She was really a novelist. Her books have been named to the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program as well as the BookS ...more
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