Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Waiting Room by Gabrielle Carey

The Waiting Room
Gabrielle Carey
Scribe, 2009

About The Book
Intimately exploring the complex dynamics of a complicated mother-daughter relationship, this sharp and honest memoir tells the story of a woman who is forced to begin asking some of life’s difficult questions—such as to what extent are people's lives determined by their genetic heritage?—when her mother is diagnosed with a serious brain tumor that must be operated on immediately. While biding the dreadful passage of time in the hospital waiting room, Gabrielle Carey begins to realize how much her mother has left untold, how many questions she still wants to ask her, and how little time there is left for the answers. Amid organizing appointments, looking after her own children, and battling her mother’s stubbornly principled idea that she should be left to die, Gabrielle begins to voice the unasked, attempting to discover the mother she has lived with all her life but never truly known and ultimately uncovering just how much her family stands to gain when they let each other in

My Thoughts
Last year I read Walking With Strangers by Gabrielle Carey, which is a sort of sequel to The Waiting Room. I enjoyed reading Walking Amongst Strangers as part of it was about Australian writer Randolph Stowe. It is about Joan Carey's relationship with her family in W.A and in particular her relationship with Randolph Stow. In The Waiting Room, Joan has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. This book is also about family relationships, with Gabrielle realising that she doesn't know much about her mother's past. This is in part due to the fact that her mother isn't a talker. She hasn't come from a family tradition of talking about things.

This is one respect I completely identify with Gabrielle's relationship with her mother. Although, I suspect that is my fault as well, that in my family there wasn't a tradition of talking about things in my family either. As we have gotten older though, in particular since my husband who is a talker came on the scene, there has been more storytelling.

This was a very touching book about the relationship between daughters and mothers. As Gabrielle examines her relationship with her mother, she is also forced to look at her relationship with her teenage daughter.

I really enjoy reading Gabrielle's memoirs, although enjoy isn't quite the right word. I think I will continue to go backwards through her books.

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