- ISBN-13: 9780525427209
- ISBN-10: 0525427201
- Publisher: Viking
- Publish Date: March 2015
- Page Count: 288
Books-A-Million PRESIDENT’S PICK
“I read George Hodgman’s extraordinary memoir in one seamless glorious sitting. You will want to take your time and savor your experience with this amazing family, this moving story and its timeless lessons. Bettyville is full of love, and grace, and tenderness. Unforgettable and engaging in its humor and in its heart.” – Terrance G. Finley, President and Chief Executive Officer
Beautifully written memoir that touches the heart, tickles the funny bone and causes you to pause and reflect. George Hodgman, an unemployed, recovering addict, leaves his fast paced Manhattan world behind, returning to his childhood home in Paris, Missouri, to care for his elderly mother, Betty. The role reversal alone is very difficult, parent becoming the child and child talking on the role of parent – but there are other factors that make this situation even more trying… George can’t select an outfit or prepare a meal without enduring his mother’s criticisms. At times he’s able to hold his temper in check, while at others, the two really butt heads. But the real elephant in the room is George’s homosexuality. Although he’s been “out” with his parents for years, it’s a silent subject (one everyone is aware of, but doesn’t discuss).
George’s story is much more than that of a son returning home to care for his mother…it’s a personal journey of acceptance. He finds peace within himself and with his mother. As the novel progresses you feel a personal connection with these people – which, for me, is the defining aspect of a good book. And while there are no “ah-ha moments”, nor gold at the end of the rainbow, there’s a feeling of satisfaction that all is as it was intended.
This is a good book that I really enjoyed reading. Having taken care of my grandmother the last several years of her life, so much of George’s story was my story. The surface issues were different…but at the core it was the same. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good book.