The End of Your Life Book Club is a great book for anyone – it is not just written for book lovers, or persons with cancer, or family members of someone with cancer. It is not focused in that way where you feel you cannot read it if you are not in a similar situation. I found that one of the points of this book was to show how a person IS able to live through reading. Often times people seem to think of living through reading as if you are not living in your own life, only through the lives of characters you connect with. But in The End of Your Life Book Club, Will Schwalbe and his mother show us that life is richer with reading.
In this book, we start off knowing how the book will end, Will himself tells us, and we know it will be a sad ending. But the point of this story is not how it ends, the point is the journey and Will wants to remind us of that. We see immediately that Will and his mother already have a huge connection over books. They read constantly, and share thoughts on books, mark passages, exchange reads, etc. Soon the two of them form their own little book club, in a way, just the two of them, exchanging books and then talking about them. The books weren’t chosen because these are the books that a person “must” read before the end of their lives, instead these are the books that this two-person book club felt were right for that time. Reading these books together allowed Will and his mother to discuss ideas openly, to understand the other better, to cope with what they were facing in their immediate lives, and outside of them, and it not only helped grow their connection together, but their connection with life, and the world around them.
We also got to see the strength of Will’s mother, and how amazing and inspiring a person can be, even when facing the end of their life. Books constantly reminded Will’s mother that life is meant to be lived, and there is so much to learn and see and do in the world. Reading is the best teacher.
I really enjoyed this book because it wasn’t in any way telling the reader how they should live, instead it showed a full life being lived, and the power of reading. The course of over a year was told, in a way, through the books Will and his mother read in this book club and I enjoyed the story being told with that back drop. The writing was really great, and the pace was nice and relaxed the whole time which is different than most books, and why I liked it a lot for this specific one.
I recommend this book.