“If she dies, I’ll die. But here we were.” Mia’s mom dies suddenly of a fast moving cancer after just twelve short days in the hospital. And even though Mia can’t imagine life without her, the rest of the world just keeps movin’ on, forcing Mia to cope whether she wants to or not. And it’s not easy. First, there’s the funeral to get through, officiated by Rabbi Elvis, who arrives in Ray-Bans and sporting a very hairy chest. Then there’s dealing with her crabby, sarcastic sister, her moping, depressed dad, and the nightmare that is school, where no one seems to understand that World History is meaningless when her own history has been altered forever. Not to mention the condoms she finds in her dad’s shaving kit less than a year after her mother’s death. He couldn’t possibly be…? Oh, gross! Mia keeps looking for the self-help book, What to Do When Your Mother Dies from Melanoma, Which They Thought Was a Stomachache at First, but it doesn’t seem to exist. To make it through this bleak time, Mia is going to have to learn how to help herself, and how to accept help from others. Margo Rabb, whose own mother died when she was a teen, manages to effectively capture the moments of both absurdity and pain that accompany the loss of someone close. This book moved me to both laughter and tears, and I especially enjoyed Mia’s description of her Queens neighborhood–between the 46th and 52nd Street stops on the 7 train–which was also my neighborhood when I first moved to NYC! And if you want another sad story of parental passing, try Grief Girl: My True Story by Erin Vincent. 1 weepie.
Cures for Heartbreak by Margo Rabb