When Mary Anne Schwalbe returned from a trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan she was diagnosed with a rare type of hepatitis that actually turned out to be pancreatic cancer, a cancer that is usually fatal within six months.
Mary Anne was a truly remarkable woman and didn't let this diagnosis stop her from living a full, active life for another couple of years, including planning and organising a mobile library service for Afghanistan. Along the way she and her son, Will (the author) set up their own private book club. They read widely and voraciously, linking up what they're reading to their own life experiences. I was totally moved by the close relationship between Will and his mother and how they became even closer through their reading.
I found myself intrigued equally by what Mary Anne and Will thought of books I've read and fascinated by their choices that I've not read. There are definitely a few more books on my wish list now!
One of the books Mary Anne and Will read is the Kite Runner, probably the most famous novel set in Afghanistan. They both enjoyed it more than I did and I have to admit, I wondered what they would have thought of the two more recent (and I think far superior) novels set in that country - Freshta and The Taliban Cricket Club. (Follow the links to read my reviews on this blog).
This is a beautiful book about family relationships, illness, grief and death and the magic of books.
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe published by Two Roads
Thanks to Curious Book Fans, I won my copy of this book!
As ever, coloured text contains hyperlinks that take you to other pages where you can find out more.