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How to Forget: A Daughter's Memoir

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  2,208 ratings  ·  366 reviews
In this profoundly honest and examined memoir about returning to Iowa to care for her ailing parents, the star of Orange Is the New Black and author of Born with Teeth takes us on an unexpected journey of loss, betrayal, and the transcendent nature of a daughter’s love for her parents.

They say you can’t go home again. But when her father is diagnosed with aggressive lung
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by William Morrow
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  2,208 ratings  ·  366 reviews

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Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Narrated by the author, HOW TO FORGET: A DAUGHTER'S MEMOIR is an incredibly intimate and detailed account of how Kate Mulgrew and her family cared and provided for their sick parents.

In brief, her father had an aggressive form of lung cancer that spread throughout his body and her mother had Alzheimer's disease. I felt like I had to read this book as my dad also died from an aggressive form of lung cancer, and my mom is battling Alzheimer's disease right now.

I read Mulgrew's previous memoir BO
Terrie  Robinson
"How To Forget: A Daughter's Memoir by Kate Mulgrew was a beautifully audiobook narrated by the author!

I was in awe of the beautiful writing skill in this memoir by Ms. Mulgrew. It was a work of artful prose!

This memoir encompasses Kate's return to the family home where she grew up in Dubuque, Iowa to care for each parent during their last weeks of life. Her father died of cancer and, two years later, her mother died of Alzheimer's Disease. In spite of the main topic being the death of both pare
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I didn't read Kate Mulgrew's earlier memoir (Born with Teeth) but this is really much more about her parents, particularly the ends of their lives and how she and her siblings were present for those long and painful periods of deterioration and change.

Mulgrew is perceptive but really only talks about herself in relation to everyone else.. maybe that's life in a giant family. It's a nice comparison of stoic Midwesterners and their New York City actress daughter.

I had a copy from William Morrow
Elyse  Walters
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“He died first, quickly and quietly. It was like my father to outwit my mother, even at the end.”

This is a tender felt story of the death of Kate’s parents...
....siblings dealings...
.....messy, flawed, and real.

Coffee, cigarettes, vodka... were relished by her father.
Kate’s dad was 83 years old.

Kate’s brother, Joe, called to share the news. Their dad had cancer.
Joe knew that out of all the siblings, Kate was the one in the best position to get their father the care he needed.
And wow...
Marina Kravchuk
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After reading “Born With Teeth”, Kate Mulgrew’s first book and a gem of a memoir, I could not wait to hear that a second one would be coming.
“How to Forget” is a tremendous book! Not unlike the first memoir, I have swallowed it in a matter of hours, and then found myself needing several days to be able to articulate a more fitting opinion on it than simply “heart-rending”.
This memoir is first and foremost about the lives and deaths of Kate’s parents, and about how her relationship with either on
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
I hardly ever read memoirs or biographies, but sometimes they catch my eye. In this case it is the second book by Kate Mulgrew (an actress most will recognize as Captain Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek Voyager, or more recent in the series 'Orange is the new black'). A few years back she wrote 'Born with teeth', which was quite entertaining. She is a good and engaging author.

Again this is a memoir, but not so much about Kate herself, but about the relationship with her parents. She takes us on a v
How to Forget

Families are messy. They are tender and precious; what you work and fight for; the tribe that holds the keys to Home, that place from which you run, or to which you return, at a run, or in a reluctant walk, or on a nostalgic shuffle. You know they have to let you in if you present yourself, however you present yourself. Families give you your first glimpses of how Pairs are going to feature in your life. Love/Hate. Happy/Sad. Hungry/Full. His/Hers. Easy/Difficult. Comfortable/Uncomf
Stuart Rodriguez
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic memoir. Gorgeously written and incredibly intimate, Kate Mulgrew details the last few months of her parents’ lives, as her father battled cancer and her mother Alzheimer’s. Interspersed throughout those present-day memories are stories of her parents from when she was a child, and when they themselves were young: how they met, and grew together, and how she and her siblings’ relationships with them, like all of us, were at once loving and conflicted. This memoir is heartfelt, ...more
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I have read Kate Mulgrew's premiere memoir, "Born With Teeth" roughly five times and I had recently read it in April. When 'How To Forget' was announced and that it was about Mulgrew's relationship with her parents, I was instantly intrigued. I have been following Mulgrew's career for close to twenty years and I have heard a myriad of stories about her parents, her upbringing, her siblings and her mother's battle with Alzheimer's Disease. Where 'Born With Teeth' barely touched about that disease ...more
Kasa Cotugno
My review of Mulgrew's first memoir ended with the wish that she had not ended it 13 years prior to publication since there was still so much to learn about her. At that time, she said she'd had to wait until the deaths of both parents before writing her history, and this book is an explanation almost an apologia, since it is her parents' stories, and hers only as it relates to them and to her seven siblings.

The Mulgrews of Dubuque were a rambunctious but well regarded family, not civic leaders,
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
William (Bill) Fluke
Read this book based on glowing reviews and see many such reviews here. No more than a 3 for me. I love a good memoir but to put this on the same level as “Educated” (a true 5 star) would be a travesty. Two very sad accounts of the death of her two parents. A good glimpse into what it must be like to watch a loved one wither away from Alzheimer’s but not sure that is what people want to experience with the author. The inside book jacket refers to author uncovering “long kept secrets” and not sur ...more
Rosie O'Donnell
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just can't get over how touching and relevant this beautifully written book is. buy it - read it - you will be profoundly moved. ...more
Jill Meyer
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kate Mulgrew is an actor. She has acted on stage, in the movies, and on television. She may be best known as "Admiral Kathryn Janeway" on the TV show "Star Trek: Voyager" in the late 1990's and currently she's in the cast of "Orange is the New Black". She is one of those actors who always seems to have a part in something, she's always working. But as with any actor, what you see on the stage or the screen is only a piece of the real person. Her excellent first memoir, "Born With Teeth", publish ...more
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Actress Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek Voyager, Orange Is the New Black) follows up her candid and thoughtful 2015 memoir, BORN WITH TEETH, with an equally forthright and emotionally raw tale of caring for her parents at the end of their lives.

When her father is diagnosed with stage-four cancer that has spread from his lungs to brain stem, liver and kidneys, Mulgrew's return visit to her home state of Iowa is extended indefinitely. Six years earlier, her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease an
Bon Tom
Nov 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Oh captain, my captain! You remain sovereign at your rudder in you private life too. Even in the midst of worst turbulence, when to you, personally, things might seem awfully out of control.

Until now, there were several unavoidable associations that came to my mind when I though of Kate Mulgrew. Stern, but fair Star Trek captain, impossibly beautiful and thick hair (remember that scene in her private compartment on Voyager?), warm, motherly voice that I could listen whole day.

Well, my wish fina
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: loss, 2021
this is a good read. the vocab impressive, and the author really painted a beautiful picture. a lovely tribute to an eldest daughter's relationship with her parents. however, the entire book felt like exposition. i kept waiting for a secret to come out or the other shoe to drop and it never happened. the author bounced in between memories and the present, sometimes confusing. while this all kept me reading, it was also frustrating. in addition, the author was clearly very wealthy, which made som ...more
Elaine Hott
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read 'Born With Teeth' and looked forward to 'How to Forget' when she announced it. Both memoirs are incredibly well written. Ms Mulgrew has a love of the English language that is astounding, I was glad my EReader has a dictionary.

I work with Seniors, many of whom suffer from Dementia and the Dementia Umbrella. The opportunity to read about a family that dealt with this and get an insite to their thinking was unique. Ms Mulgrew and her siblings dealt with many emotions and conflicts. She tell
Sharon Watkins
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Overall, disappointing. The book is divided into two parts. The first addresses the final illness of her father. I found the narrative skeletal and woefully overwritten. The second, somewhat longer, section about the slow disappearance of her mother into Alzheimers disease more compelling and considerably more fleshed out. The second part, too, though, could have benefited from more robust editing.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kate Mulgrew kicks it out of the park yet again with her second book “How To Forget”. Poignant, wonderfully written, hardly an easy read but she still manages to suck you right into the story.

It will captivate you, it will break your heart if you’ve ever been in a position of fighting a battle close to home, it most certainly won’t disappoint. No spoilers, pick up the book and read it.
Ashleigh Read
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is breathtaking. You may be wondering if you have to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy this book; you do not (I am not). You may be wondering if her acting career is what got this book greenlit; it is not. Kate Mulgrew has a way with words. She tells her stories in such a captivating way. I couldn’t recommend this book more highly.

I’ll be honest - it took me a long time to finish this book. Too long if you ask the friend who loaned it to me ;). I feel, though, like a good memoir can’t be de
Jo Marjoribanks
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
‘How to Forget’ delves into every aspect of life and its inevitable end with unflinching frankness and honesty: the beauty and the ugliness; the clarity and the confusion; the joy and the sadness. All told through Kate’s mastery of the English language and decades of experience in conveying complex and elusive emotions to her audience.

Losing a parent is like watching the door through which you entered the world swing shut forever. Chances are you didn’t get everything you needed from the other
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In How to Forget, Kate Mulgrew plumbs the depths of her parents' lives as she processes their declines and deaths. As someone who lost a parent almost two years ago I was struck by Mulgrew's courage and candor. She lays bare her own hopes and fears and revelations, as well as those of her siblings. She also shares complex family secrets with incredible empathy. Mulgrew seems to have an incredible memory for detail, which she uses to sketch out each scene and its characters to help us envision th ...more
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kate Mulgrew brings to life the stories involving her father and mother from the time of her early childhood, teenage years, and to the point where both pass (mother from Alzheimer's Disease and her father from lung cancer). Through her intimate and detailed story-telling, you are woven into her complicated and loving clan. You experience the depths of her love for both parents, and how she in turn becomes a caregiver toward her own mother and father.

Coming from a large family, there are times
Kristin Boldon
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, borrowed, memoir
The subject and the content is better than the execution. At times overwritten (e.g., the word ineffable should only be used once per book), Mulgrew's affection for her parents is huge, and the stories she tells are engaging. She's a compelling entertainer. But the division of the book in two side by side halves left me unclear on the parents' relationship. A structure that was more interwoven, or linear in time, might have served the subjects better. I think the focus Mulgrew was trying for was ...more
Kellie Reynolds
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audiobook, read by the author.

The main focus of this memoir by actress Kate Mulgrew is her response to her father’s short battle with aggressive lung cancer and her mother’s approximately 5 years with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

The background information about some of her grandparents and how her parents met sets the stage for the family dynamics. Her parents watched two of their eight children due, which significantly altered their view of life.

Although the overall tone of th
Kelly 💜☕️
Another great celebrity memoir by Kate Mulgrew! I really enjoyed her first book. This one gets more into her family history with stories of her parents and siblings.

Thanks to San Diego County Library for the digital audio version via Libby app.

[Audio: 12 hours, 6 minutes]
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tough to choose which is my favorite of the two memoirs Mulgrew has written; they were both engrossing, beautifully written, and (apparently) unflinchingly honest. She really is a wonderful writer. The themes and relationships she writes about are universal types, and just about anyone is likely to be deeply engrossed.
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
I listened to the audiobook, and I think Mulgrew as narrator, adds a lot. The memoir revolves around her parents and their final years.
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-biography
Well-written memoir about author's family, particularly her unconventional parents. ...more
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Kate Mulgrew is an American actress noted for her roles as Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, Mary Ryan on Ryan's Hope, and, most recently, Galina "Red" Reznikov on Orange Is the New Black. She has performed in numerous television shows, theater productions, and movies. She is the winner of a Golden Satellite Award, a Saturn Award, and an Obie Award and has been nominated for a Golden ...more

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