Title: What We Have
Author: Amy Boesky
Publication Date: August 5, 2010
Paperback: 336 pages
At thirty-two, Amy Boesky thought she had it all figured out: a wonderful new man in her life, a great job, and the (nearly) perfect home. For once, she was almost able to shake the terrible fear that had gripped her for as long as she could remember. Women in her family had always died young-from cancer-and she and her sisters had grown up in time’s shadow. It colored every choice they made and was beginning to come to a head now that each of them approached thirty-five-the deadline their doctors prescribed for having preventive surgery with the hope they could thwart their family’s medical curse. But Amy didn’t want to dwell on that now. She wanted to plan for a new baby, live her life. And with the appreciation for life’s smallest pleasures, she did just that. In What We Have, Amy shares a deeply transformative year in her family’s life and invites readers to join in their joy, laughter, and grief.
In a true story as compelling as the best in women’s fiction, written with the sagacity of Joan Didion and the elegance of Amy Bloom, Amy Boesky’s journey celebrates the promise of a full life, even in the face of uncertainty.
Beautifully written with a mix of heartbreak and joy, What We Have by Amy Boesky is a deeply moving memoir of family dynamics. Amy Boesky tells her story as a daughter, a wife, a sister, a mother and of course as herself, a type “A minus” personality, whose life has been structured with special focus on time, considering the women in her family rarely live past the age of fifty. While not a memoir of ovarian cancer, the very essence of who Amy is stems around the women of the family, a family with a predisposition to ovarian cancer. Boesky writes a fluid story, written in two parts, much like the hands of a clock, balanced, while throughout the book Boesky masterfully blends in the history of language, medicine and especially of time, to illustrate her emotions throughout the book. What We Have is a deeply moving narrative of strong women who made me both laugh and cry, and for whom I felt deeply, for Amy, her sisters Julie and Sara, and her mother Elaine, and for their husbands and their children. Written in an exquisite tone, Amy shares with the reader her struggles and her family’s joys and sorrows, the bond that brings them so close together and yet is so deadly, all the while begging the question: can we recapture lost time, history, things gone before us or do we rely solely on memory and living in the moment? Perhaps there is no correct answer for this, poets write about this topic frequently and it is a topic Boesky broaches throughout her book. I highly recommend What We Have to any reader, especially those who do not care for memoirs as this book is not a typical memoir.
A graduate of Oxford and Harvard, Amy Boesky is an associate professor of English at Boston College. She was one of the principal ghostwriters for the bestselling young adult series “Sweet Valley High”. She lives in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, with her husband and their two daughters.
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I received a complimentary copy of What We Have by Amy Boesky from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.