Title: Full Moon At Noontide: A Daughter’s Last Goodbye
Author: Ann Putnam
Publisher: Southern Methodist University Press
Publication Date: November 23, 2009
Hardcover: 224 pages
This is the story of my mother and father and my dashing, bachelor uncle, my father’s identical twin, and how they lived together with their courage and their stumblings, as they made their way into old age and then into death. And it’s the story of the journey from one twin’s death to the other, of what happened along the way, of what it means to lose the other who is also oneself.
My story takes the reader through the journey of the end of life: selling the family home, re-location at a retirement community, doctor’s visits, ER visits, specialists, hospitalizations, ICU, nursing homes, Hospice. It takes the reader through the gauntlet of the health care system with all the attendant comedy and sorrows, joys and terrors of such things. Finally it asks: what consolation is there in growing old, in such loss? What abides beyond the telling of my own tale? Wisdom carried from the end of the journey to readers who are perhaps only beginning theirs. Still, what interest in reading of this inevitable journey taken by such ordinary people? Turned to the light just so, the beauty and laughter of the telling transcend the darkness of the tale.
During the final revisions of this book, my husband was dying of cancer, and he died before I could finish it. What I know so far is this: how pure love becomes when it is distilled through such suffering and loss–a blue flame that flickers and pulses in the deepest heart.
As I finish this book he is gone three months.
Ann Putnam has written a straightforward, honest and loving look at the process of aging, dying and death. A potentially frightening and morbid topic for many and yet Putnam writes her memoir, Full Moon at Noontide, about her parents, Grace and Homer, and her Uncle Henry, her father’s twin, in the most loving and tender of manners. This is indeed a book about the struggles one faces at the end of life, yet it is so much more, it is a book about love, dignity, and humanity. The reader will be in tears one moment and smiling the next as Putnam takes readers through the last leg of life, a journey her parents and Uncle took and she captured every nuance with loving detail. Society prefers to overlook the elderly, the ill and the dying. I know this from working in nursing homes and dealing with death up front. Too many cannot handle it and prefer the phone call to actually being present, since physical presence at the side of a dying loved one is difficult, and real death is not accurately portrayed in movies or on television. As one loses abilities, life forever changes and this extraordinarily beautiful memoir talks of these changes that occur every day and are so often overlooked. We are all born and we all die and in our declining years we should not be forgotten simply because it is uncomfortable to others. Putnam’s moving memoir speaks for those who cannot, to help show the world what it is like for the average person. Full Moon at Noontide is so lovingly and candidly written I would not hesitate to recommend it to any adult.
ANN PUTNAM teaches creative writing and women’s studies at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. She has published short fiction, personal essays, literary criticism, and book reviews in various anthologies such as Hemingway and Women: Female Critics and the Female Voice and in journals, including the Hemingway Review, Western American Literature, and the South Dakota Review. Her recent release is Full Moon at Noontide: A Daughter’s Last Goodbye.
For more information about Ann Putnam, please visit his website.
Ann Putnam’s FULL MOON AT NOONTIDE VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ‘10 officially began on June 1 and end on July 30 2010. You can visit Ann Putnam’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com during the months of June and July to find out more about this great book and talented author!
I received a complimentary copy of Full Moon At Noontide by Ann Putnam from Pump Up Your Book Promotion as part of the tour. Receiving a copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.