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A Mother's Story

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  158 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews

On a summer day in 1988, Carter Cooper, aged 24, dropped to his death from the 14th-floor terrace of his mother's New York City's apartment. Now, seven years later, Gloria Vanderbilt is finally able to set down the terrible events of that afternoonto which she was a witnessin a book of overwhleming intensity, feeling, and beauty.

Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Plume (first published April 30th 1996)
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I watch the new Anderson show and I never knew much about him and when he had his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt on his show, i was very intriged. I learned that his brother committed sucicide right in front of his mother so when I found out that she wrote a book about it I just had to read it. I read it in one day! It was such a quick read but I felt that the book is more for her than for other's. It seemed like a way for her to clear the air, so to speak. It really wasn't about Carter it was more a ...more
Jan 04, 2012 Maureen rated it liked it
If you spend 90 minutes waiting to be seen at a doctor's appt, you can finish this book. Interesting read. I've done quite a bit of suicide-related reading and I don't know how I feel about this. In 1988, Gloria Vanderbilt's eldest son lept to his death - before her eyes - from the terrace of their NYC apartment. For the most part I found the style of the book somewhat odd. Much of the book is about Gloria's emotional difficulties growing up (and not knowing much about Gloria Vanderbilt other th ...more
Jun 20, 2010 Jane rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
This small book is about the suicide of Anderson Cooper's brother (Gloria Vanderbilt was/is their mother.) I know Ms. Vanderbilt was the victim of a love deprived childhood and I imagine that might be why she is quite self-involved. As other reviewers have stated, she writes rather too much about herself.

The book is written in a somewhat dreamlike manner and the best chapter was easily Anderson's tribute to his late brother. The description of how her son jumped off their 14th floor terrace to c
Laura Rosa-miller
May 26, 2013 Laura Rosa-miller rated it liked it
It was an easy read to a very hard experience It let me into a life of a famous and iconic person she wrote about herself her son her life and that tragic day it was done fine and although she is a famous person in some way if anyone has a sad pass or a horrific experience as was hers we can all relate I think the book is a memoir and it is just that Makes you think that the grass is not always greener on the other side She wrote about real raw feelings that we all feel when it comes to our pare ...more
Jan 25, 2010 Elixxir rated it liked it
I can understand a lot of other readers' frustration at how she chose to tell her story but the book is not called My Son's Death, it is A Mother's Story. What she chose to share of her life and how is just as telling and it was a much easier read than I expected it to be from an emotional standpoint. A solid reminder of how uncertain our future is, whether that makes now precious or pointless is open for debate.
With Butterflies
Aug 07, 2010 With Butterflies rated it really liked it
Damn, there are some cold blooded people on Goodreads. I'll never be a mother or a millionaire, but didn't find it at all difficult to connect with Gloria Vanderbilt and her pain.

I thought she did a great job expressing the depth of her pain while celebrating the life of her child.

Very moving.
Sep 21, 2009 alana rated it did not like it
...well. i was able to read this in one-sitting. while i found it interesting, and definitely a sad story, it was tough to relate to. plus it annoyed me that it was mostly about herself and not so much about her son.

...also, not a big fan of referring to my husband as "daddy". kind of freaked me out.
Apr 30, 2010 Vikki rated it really liked it
This book is an autobiography of Gloria Vanderbilt. It tells of her son's death. He jumped fourteen stories in his mother's home. They are almost certain it was a reaction to asthma medicine from an inhaler-theophylline marginal acute hypoxia. A very good book although heart wrenching.
May 26, 2014 Jodie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting read & insight to Gloria Vanderbilts family life, including the relationship with her son Carter who committed suicide.
Apr 13, 2010 Sheila rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010
Read this in one night. I thought it was going to be about just her son, Carter. It was more about Ms Vanderbilt's life and how she was in what she liked to call a Glass Bubble which is mentioned far too much in this less than 200 page novel.
Jan 16, 2012 kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After seeing Gloria Vanderbilt on her son Anderson Coopers show, i decided to read her book about her family. The book mostly is about her Son and her husband (Author Wyatt Cooper), she also talks about her childhood. A quick interesting read.
Dec 04, 2010 Bonnie rated it liked it
Gloria Vanderbilt shares her feelings about dealing with loss. Her son (Anderson Cooper's brother) committed suicide. It is a small book that is surprisingly well written. Another glimpse into the life of the famous Vanderbilt family.
Mar 13, 2008 Kristine rated it liked it
Aug 01, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I'm drawn to the stories of mother's surviving the loss of their children...Gloria's book is poignant and a journey through her own grief over the death of her 20something son, Carter. I read it in one day.
Jul 14, 2013 Helen rated it it was ok
Even though it was well written I felt she spent more time writing about her husbands death than her sons. I mean the book is called a mothers story not a wifes.
Aug 19, 2010 Bev rated it liked it
Sensitive, life-affirming, memoir of rich and famous woman's dealing with her son's suicide and the other losses of her life. One bad word, in appropriate context.
Aug 19, 2011 Bridget rated it liked it
Shelves: biographies
An interesting meandering account from Gloria Vanderbilt about her childhood, her husband and losing her son, Carter (Anderson Cooper's brother), to suicide.
Jun 14, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it
Such a moving story. Broke my heart to read yet such a testament of deep love and surviving unspeakable hard times.
Sep 10, 2012 Stella rated it really liked it

Heartwrenching. Almost stream-of-conscious, but well worth the read if you can find the book.
Dec 05, 2009 Jill rated it liked it
Gloria Vanderbilt wrote this story of trying to understand her son's suicide.
Nov 17, 2007 lissy rated it it was amazing
great book if your too happy and need to bring yourself down-lol
Nov 13, 2008 Becca added it
A wonderful book on losing a child
May 18, 2010 Emily rated it really liked it
wonderfully written, and beautiful.
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Gloria Vanderbilt is the author of four memoirs and two novels. She contributes to various publications, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Elle, and has received two honorary Doctorates of Fine Arts. She lives in New York City.
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