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Making Toast: A Family Story
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Making Toast: A Family Story

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  4,060 Ratings  ·  859 Reviews
When his daughter, Amy - a gifted doctor, mother and wife - collapsed and died from an asymptomatic heart condition - Roger Rosenblatt and his wife Ginny moved in with their son-in-law, Harris, and their three young grandchildren. 'Making Toast' is Roger's tribute to his late daughter and a testament to familial love.
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Duckworth Publishing (first published 2010)
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Barbara Mader
Tough to rate this one. I wanted to like it more than I did; maybe it just wasn't what I expected. The tone is very restrained, which I tend to like and did like up to a point, but it also seemed like he was afraid of his subject matter, and couldn't be as honest as he probably should have been (if you're going to get it at all right, I think you have to be fearless). The quality of the writing itself seemed OK, but he came across as emotionally underdeveloped and rather narcissistic. It doesn't ...more
Will Byrnes
Roger Rosenblatt’s daughter Amy was 38, a doctor, a wife and a mother of three small children when she died. Making Toast is Rosenblatt’s memoir of how he, his wife, Ginny, and the people Amy left behind coped with their loss. Roger and Ginny moved in with their son-in-law, Harris, and helped raise their grandkids. He writes of the day to day activities of parenting anew, of the questions the children ask, the decisions and steps required to continue living. It is a quiet book. I almost felt as ...more
Laura
I understand why people write books after the death of a loved one: it's cathartic. I'm less understanding of why we read them. If we don't know the people involved, what's the gain? Is it that we hope we'll handle our losses with more dignity? That death will be comprehensible? I really don't know...

This slight series of pensees (too short to be essays, not coherent enough to be anything more) doesn't offer much in the way of spiritual guidance. Rather, it's simply a father trying to make sense
...more
Roxanne
I thought I would love this book, but I had a big problem getting over a few issues.

I understand the feelings of unfairness in Amy's death, but like the nanny stated, they had resources that few people in their same situation had. They were better equipped in many areas than others. Rosenblatt does address this somewhat at the very end of the book, but I wish it would have come earlier.

Names, names, names. I zoned out when new people were introduced. Rosenblatt continued this throughout the ent
...more
Sharon
Jun 10, 2010 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenna
Feb 22, 2010 Jenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mothers, fathers, those grieving
Recommended to Jenna by: the radio, because I kick it old school sometimes
Shelves: 2010-read-books
I blew through this book in seven hours. It has been awhile since I've read a memoir that I didn't find trite or even annoying at times. This particular one had me laughing, crying, laughing again and mostly nodding my head. While my living children are still with me, I have endured two family deaths in less than a month. The grief has been overwhelming at times. I simply needed this book at this point.

I came across it only because I randomly stopped on a radio talk show in which Rosenblatt was
...more
Harkinna
Jul 17, 2010 Harkinna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
...more
Jackie
This is about a family grieving and a family growing. They lost a young and vital member, Amy, who was a doctor, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a very good friend. There was no preparing for this death--she dropped dead on the basement treadmill from an extremely rare heart defect. This book is made up of little moments in time, much like journal entries, as they family pulled together in the initial shock, then as Roger and his wife Ginny move in to help their son-in-law take care o ...more
Rachelle Urist
Mar 13, 2015 Rachelle Urist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part 1 is my initial reaction to the book.
Part 2 is my review for the Washtenaw Jewish News.

1. A moving account of the sad, busy year following the sudden death of the author's 38 year old daughter, a pediatrician and the mother of three young children. The author and his wife move in with the grandchildren and their father, also a physician. The year of mourning includes the joys and concerns of children, the loving resourcefulness of the grandparents, the worries about their son-in-law and th
...more
Caitlin
Jan 30, 2010 Caitlin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This is a spare, even elegant memoir about the aftermath of tragedy. The author's daughter, Amy, died on her treadmill from a rare congenital heart problem leaving behind her grieving children. Mr. Rosenblatt and his wife immediately moved in with their son-in-law and the three children and started the process of figuring out life after Amy.

All death has its own flavor, its own level of tragedy - the sudden death of a loved one is hard because there is no preparation - there is simply before and
...more
Heidi Miller
Nov 29, 2013 Heidi Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It brought back the hell and heartbreak our family entered into three years ago tomorrow. It reminded me of the pain of my displaced father and how terribly difficult that must have been for him. It reminded me of all of my children and the difficult yet very different pain they each have had to endure and navigate through. It is a pain and a loss none of us could ever, ever have imagined. We have all grown through this experience. I would like to think we are more aware of ot ...more
Ellen
Amy, the author's daughter, dies suddenly, leaving her husband and three young children. Roger and Ginny move into the family home to help Amy's husband raise Jessie, Sammy, and Bubbies, the baby.

The author's memoir leads the reader through the first fourteen months after Amy's death as he learns his new duties (such as making the morning toast.)

Like Tracey Kidder, Rosenblatt doesn't overwrite or overanalyze. When he describes Sammy imitating his mother's dead body by lying on the floor with h
...more
Kathy
Jan 11, 2010 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a GoodReads First-Reads Selection…and what an excellent book! I don’t know where to begin raving about it. It’s a memoir of Roger Rosenblatt’s 38-year old daughter, Amy, who died suddenly from a heart problem. Roger and his wife move in with Amy’s husband, and their three young children. What special people Roger and his wife Ginny were to not even hesitate to come to the aid of their son-in-law! I cried in so many parts of the book. Roger shares his family’s life and celebrates Amy’s l ...more
Sandra Stiles
Feb 08, 2010 Sandra Stiles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Roger Rosenblatt lost his daughter Amy and a very early age. She left behind a husband and three children. The youngest only a year old. Roger and his wife pulled up stakes and moved in with their son-in-law to help him with the children. together they all work together to get through this tough time. This memoir rang vvery true for me. Roger talks openly and honestly about dealing with grief and how it affects all involved. Simple things such as realizing they were having an off day and took it ...more
Lynn
May 05, 2010 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sad, touching memoir of a family finding their way after the death of Amy: daughter, wife, sister, friend, and mother, as told by her father. It's not overly sad and is, actually, hopeful especially for the young children left behind. This is the kind of family we all wish for - strong, supportive and loving. One feels sure that though Amy's death will always color their lives, the family members will all survive intact.

My one quarrel with this book is near the end when Amy's brother, Carl is tr
...more
Regina Mclaughlin
Mar 04, 2010 Regina Mclaughlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clsc
Not long ago I hopscotched my way through Rosenblatt's picaresque novel "Beet." It had been a lark of a reading-list selection--satire in the coy tradition of "Candide."

How lacking in gravity, compared to the elegaic work "Making Toast," written in the nearly strangled voice of a father bereft. And in anger that it must be so.

We join the author through the cycling of the first year without, and discover, laid bare, just so many homely truths about day-to-day life after loss. Here words hardly
...more
ChapterOne
Jan 01, 2016 ChapterOne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those quietly beautiful books. It's about grieving and at the same time, going about your normal everyday life after the death of a loved one.

The chapter on grief in the book A Little Life was intense and gut wrenching like nothing I had ever read. But then the character didn't have any kids and therefore had the "luxury" to give himself up completely to his grief.

In this book however, there are little children involved. The sudden death of their mother has left a gaping hole in
...more
Cindy Knoke
Apr 01, 2012 Cindy Knoke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a moving book about love, loss, and family. Most of all about love and a remarkable family. Rosenblatt's daughter died suddenly leaving behind a husband and three young children. Rosenblatt and his wife, a retired schoolteacher, pull up stakes and move in with their son in law to help him raise the grandchildren and cope with their collective grief.
You end up very impressed with this family, their commitment to each other, and their strength in facing devastating grief.
Rosenblatt finds
...more
Nicole
Apr 23, 2011 Nicole rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow--what a disappointment this book was! Here I thought I would get some help with my own grief. What a surprise! I've always wondered what people do with death that don't believe in God and now I know! This guy and his family have no religious affiliation or spiritual grounding at all. They end up being bitter and angry. I kept waiting for them to transform as time went on but it didn't happen. So sad! It was also too "we summer in the Hamptons, we love Obama, and I name drop every chance I ge ...more
Deb
Sep 04, 2014 Deb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, non-fiction
A very tender book by a lovely writer, Roger Rosenblatt. His simple recounting of life raising his young grandchildren, after his daughter's sudden death at a very young age, brought tears and smiles to me as I listened to it. I know those kids are going to be OK with Boppo and Ginny raising them. A good read/listen.
Lynne Perednia
Mar 29, 2010 Lynne Perednia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
MAKING TOAST
By Roger Rosenblatt
Memoir
March 2010
Ecco Books (Harper Collins)
ISBN: 978-0-06-196537-1

Less than a month before Christmas in 2007, an apparently healthy doctor, wife and mother suddenly died at home. Her parents came to help her widower and three young children, and stayed.

Because the woman's parents are decent, kind-hearted people, as are her husband and siblings, this is a calm, gentle book about a family being good to each other even while everyone's heart breaks. Because her father
...more
Amy
Jan 29, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.


There have been many wonderful books on the subject of grief. Most recently, I have enjoyed AN EXACT REPLICA OF A FIGMENT OF MY IMAGINATION by Elizabeth McCracken. It always amazes me how writers come up with new and powerful ways of expressing such a universal experience. This is how I felt with Roger Rosenblatt's memoir of grief, MAKING TOAST. Rosenblatt's daughter, Amy, collapsed on her treadmill at the age of 38 of an undiagnosed hea
...more
Ti
Feb 25, 2010 Ti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Short of It:

Making Toast, although touching at times, lacks the emotional punch that you’d expect from a memoir.

The Rest of It:

As a reader, we are given brief snippets of information about the family. What the children like for breakfast, what they like to wear…their favorite color, you get the idea. This information is given to us in a very friendly, casual way. My problem with this is that it was so casual in the telling that I didn’t feel as if the author was really letting me into his li
...more
Diane
Jan 05, 2011 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I almost didn’t read this book, thinking it was not a good time to read about grief and dying. The author’s daughter dies unexpectedly leaving three young children. The author and his wife move in to help their son-in –law look after the children. The book is the author’s thoughts and reflections in the 15 or so months after his daughter dies about being a grandparent, about his daughter, about his family, about himself. It is beautifully written and perfect. I don’t usually pay much attention t ...more
Barbara Smith
Jan 11, 2010 Barbara Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Making Toast” by Roger Rosenblatt shows how your entire life can change at any moment. And, in this case, the author and his family will never return to the way life was before the sudden change that hit them when their daughter suddenly dies. I have to admit I didn’t know what to expect when I first picked up this book. It is heart wrenching yet engaging and quite light in its own way. Does that make sense? Probably not – until you read it.

The author and his wife go through the grief process
...more
Alexa
This slender volume wasn't as heartbreaking as I had expected, given that I can imagine few things worse than the sudden, unexpected death of a young mother with three small children. And as a mom, this could/should have gotten to me more. Maybe I was all wrung out from the events of the past few days. A friend of my son's friend (age 14) committed suicide this weekend, and everyone is still reeling. So why the hell did I pick this book to read?

I think the brevity of the book was a lure, and the
...more
Sera
Jan 14, 2010 Sera rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sera by: First Read
I feel badly for the man who wrote this memoir where he finds himself at a loss over the sudden death of his daughter, Amy. Her loss is a tragedy to all of us, because she was an amazing woman who made a difference both within her family and within her community. However, she was part of what seems to be a perfect family. They have money, great jobs, and they have famous friends - and loads of them, too. There is no strife, no money issues, no addictions, no suicides, or anything else negative t ...more
Lynne Spreen
May 04, 2013 Lynne Spreen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: midlife, boomer-lit
When Roger Rosenblatt's daughter, Amy Rosenblatt Solomon, died at 38, Roger and wife Ginny moved into the "mother-in-law's suite" of Harrison Solomon's house to help care for and provide loving continuity for the kids. Making Toast is an account of that period.

I came to know of Roger Rosenblatt through his essays on The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour on PBS. Now, I was curious as to how the Rosenblatts' lives changed with this new role, how they adjusted, what they did every day, how they envisioned t
...more
Diane
Oct 14, 2011 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Writer and professor Roger Rosenblatt has written a poignant memoir of life a few months after the death of his daughter. Dr. Amy Rosenblatt Solomon was 38 years old when she collapsed on her treadmill. She had a rare and undiagnosed heart ailment and died suddenly in front of two of her young children. She left 3 children ages 6, 4 and 1. This slim book reads like a painful journal. Rosenblatt and his wife, Ginny move in with their son-in-law (also a physician) and share in the care of the 3 ch ...more
Robin
Mar 03, 2010 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Robin by: NPR
The story of a young mother who dies unexpectedly, leaving behind three children: 2, 4, & 6. Her parents come to live with her husband to help out with the kids and the book is a memoir by the grandfather of their first year together.

I started tearing up on page one (read AT the library, natch) and didn't finish until I closed the book (which is a quick read--I finished it that night). The book is most decidedly not precious which made it hit me all that much harder. My girls are the same ag
...more
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Roger Rosenblatt’s essays for Time magazine and PBS have won two George Polk Awards, a Peabody, and an Emmy. He is the author of six Off-Broadway plays and 13 books, including the national bestseller Rules for Aging and Children of War, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has written two satirical novels, Beet and Lapham Risi ...more
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