Home is Burning: A Memoir (Dan Marshall, 2015)

home is burning

Why did you choose this book?

It relates to a situation I’ve been dealing with recently.  Read the next section and you’ll see what I mean.

What’s it about?

For most of Dan’s life, his mother has struggled with a severe form of lymphoma and has been considered “terminally ill.”  When Dan is 25, his dad is diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and Dan has to move home to be a caregiver for a pair of terminally ill parents.  While he has siblings to help carry the burden, the struggle is intense, though Dan approaches it with a certain degree of humor.  This book intrigued me because I spent September 2013 to January 2015 as a caregiver for a terminally ill parent.


Biography/memoir, caregiving, nonfiction

Other recommended reads?

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast (2014 National Book Award finalist, graphic novel)

Final thoughts?

A disclaimer: this book uses swear words prolifically (at least every other sentence) and is extremely negative about Mormons.  I have Mormon family members and would not recommend this book to them for that very reason.

I found it to be a truthful, heartfelt, and humorous memoir about life as a caregiver.  Marshall captures the exhausted but dedicated mentality of a caregiver and both the highs and lows, as well as the wacky situations in which we find ourselves.  That’s not to say that I agree with everything that happened in the book, but I found it to be an engaging and enjoyable read and would recommend it to people struggling with caregiving.  It’s a great book for letting you know you’re not alone.

Up next?

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow


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