Kari Anderson's Reviews > The Center of the Universe: A Memoir

The Center of the Universe by Nancy Bachrach
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's review
Jun 24, 10

Read from June 20 to 23, 2010

Nancy’s mom “Lola” has always been in the edge of sanity. All throughout Nancy’s life, “Lola” has been in and out of the electric chair – trying to get her shocked straight. Now, in her 50′s “Lola” has bigger problems. Her husband dies from carbon monoxide poisoning on their boat The Mr. Fix-It. That leaves “Lola” by herself, in a coma, with her grown children to take care of her. “Lola” wakes up, and like always, isn’t quite there. She doesn’t know how to change a light bulb when it burns out, she doesn’t understand that there is more milk in a container than can fit in her cup so it spills everywhere and she starts layering, but not in a good way. No one should ever wear 6+ pairs of panty hose at one time. Throughout the turn of events, Nancy finally feels like the daughter her mother never had. And miraculously, the mental instability seems to go as the carbon monoxide sets in.

I got The Center of the Universe from the Kelley and Hall Company. I haven’t really read a lot of memoirs, I am normally a fiction kind of girl, but I really enjoyed this book. Honestly, I think the reason I enjoyed it so much was that it doesn’t seem like it could be a realistic story. I know my childhood was pretty cookie cutter, but I still have a hard time grasping how some people grew up. I just can’t fathom having a mother who routinely was shocked to try to get the crazy out.

My grandmother had a stroke a year and a half ago, so I understand what Nancy and her siblings went through, trying to get their mother on the path to survival by herself. It’s definitely like starting over with a child, with high hopes that they’ll return to their old selves.

This book gave me a number of emotions. At times, I felt bad for Nancy and her siblings for going through this with their mother, in childhood and adulthood, I shed a tear or two as they worked to get her back up to par, I laughed my butt of at some of “Lola’s” antics. This book covered it all, heartbreak, love, suffering and the calm after the storm.

My dad works in the mental health field, so I am definitely going to pass this on to him (I get my reading obsession from him, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree). I think he’ll really enjoy it.

I give The Center of The Universe 4 bookmarks. While I thoroughly enjoyed most of the book, there were times I caught myself skimming when it came to the medical terminology. I really wanted to understand it, it just didn’t sink in.

Tags: Book Review, Books, kelley and hall company, memoir, nancy bachrach, reading, the center of the universe


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Reading Progress

06/20/2010 page 12
06/21/2010 page 92
36.0% "Received this book from Kelley and Hall Book Company"

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