Book Review: "Prepare for Departure"


I just finished Mark Chesnut’s Prepare for Departure, a travel writer’s humorous, warm memoir of journeying with his mother to the end of her life, due out in July. Absolutely delightful!


You can read my Goodreads review or find it below. This would definitely constitute a lovely summer read!


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Prepare for Departure is a memoir as real, heartwarming and humorous as Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays With Morrie.


Mark Chesnut offers a tour of life with his mother, a quirky, down-to-earth Kentucky woman who supported her equally quirky gay son. The same shy, imaginative, fashion-loving boy who’d grow up to become a travel writer and, along with his older sister, guide his mother through her final months of a brain tumor.


By alternating chapters that show his youth with a mother who had to single parent after the death of her husband, and 2015 when he moved her to a nursing home near his residence in New York City, the author offers detailed snapshots of brilliant moments of warmth that hold the line against sentimentality. I particularly loved learning how their visits to see relatives stoked the author’s lifelong love for travel and learning.


With equal amounts care and humor, the author depicts the gradual decline of a woman who, rather than side with society’s view of what a boy should be, saw the best in her son, which allowed him to take off in life.


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For updates about Martha’s books, news and giveaways, check out her website.


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