Mulgrew depicts her warm, charismatic mother so vividly that the reader’s heart breaks along with Mulgrew’s when Joan starts slipping away because of her disease ... Though both sections of Mulgrew’s memoir build to painful goodbyes, How to Forget is more than just a sad play-by-play of illness and decline. It’s a beautiful portrait of a daughter’s love for her parents, packed with sharp, amusing recollections, all told with love.
In her new memoir, How to Forget, Mulgrew shares a moving personal story that’s a scriptwriter’s (and actor’s) dream. It’s full of love and heartbreak—of affairs and deaths and lives undone—as melodramatic at times as Ryan’s Hope, the soap opera Mulgrew once starred in. That the book is autobiography makes its many shocking details all the more powerful ... That How to Forget has been shelved in the 'dysfunctional family' category is not surprising. But the book is not just a series of wild anecdotes from a therapist’s couch. It’s a story about how devotion and love persist despite those wild anecdotes ... Her flair for drama might lead some readers to wonder about her precise recall of conversations that happened years ago—always a question with the most vivid memoirs—but it makes for a captivating reading experience. You’ll never forget Derby Grange and the happy and heartbroken family that lived there.
Whether already aware of Mulgrew’s charming and unique voice, or new to her compelling, introspective storytelling, audiences will appreciate this new memoir, an account of her parents during the final years of their lives ... This engrossing story of a daughter’s love, told with brutal honesty, will resonate with readers.
With candor, Mulgrew shares her efforts at caregiving after her mom develops Alzheimer's and, later, her dad is diagnosed with cancer. The author's privilege shows in passages about her reliance on her caregivers of Mexican descent; however, she reveals the painful effects of a family's long-standing fear of doctors and lack of vulnerability ... Though long-winded at times, this intimate memoir shares the realities of loving flawed parents and coping with grief and loss; a worthwhile read.
...this book is self-consciously literary and sometimes overwritten. Nonetheless, the narrative offers a rich, eloquent, and emotionally complex portrait of parent-child bonds and a colorful, unforgettable family. On the whole, Mulgrew delivers another candid and moving memoir.
This story will feel familiar to anyone who has cared for elderly relatives ... a full, wide-spanning narrative, and one which includes stark family truths, but for the reader there is always the sense of being stuck in the 'now', that slow space where an ice cube might be melting in a glass, a cigarette carefully lit, or a clock faintly ticking ... If this sounds like a sad book, it is. It is slow and melancholy. The writing is at times overwrought, saturated with detail. But it is also poetic and at times whimsical.