Book Reviews of Her Last Death

Her Last Death
Her Last Death
Author: Susanna Sonnenberg
ISBN-13: 9780743291088
ISBN-10: 0743291085
Publication Date: 1/1/2008
Pages: 288
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.

3.4 stars, based on 40 ratings
Publisher: Scribner
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

22 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Her Last Death on
Helpful Score: 10
I get it, her mother was a druggie, inappropriate, and unstable. Does that explain the author's decision to live recklessly? It was hard to have sympathy for her, as everything comes back to her mother, and Susanna seems to take little responsibility for her own choices. The book reads as a litany of one-night stands and poor choices, with very little growth or self exploration.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 160 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This book was like a train wreck- pretty awful but you couldn't look away. It's not often that I can say that I don't enjoy reading something, but I wasn't a fan of this book. I only finished it because I started it and hoped that it would get better. Essentially the premise is Sonnenberg describing how her mother messed her up by being a sex addict, druggie, and liar. The beginning of this book was very disjointed, I don't know if it's because Sonnenberg is recalling her earliest childhood memories and those are often disjointed themselves, but it made it difficult to connect with what was going on. Things become less "jumpy" and seem to be in a more coherent order as Sonnenberg goes into later childhood and teenage memories, but it seems to me to be more of a "here's a list of increasingly crazy things I or my mother did" type thing. Sonnenberg seems to be going for "shock value." I could almost see this train of thought- "What will shock readers more, telling them about how my mother gave me my first crack, my mother's list of famous sex partners (no names though), my first threesome, etc...I know, I'll thrown in all of it." It just seems too "out there" for everything to be true. I understand that the point of her tale is to explain why she feels love & connection for a mother who seriously messed her up and how as an adult she feels she can't go to her mother's deathbed because she knows she needs to cut her mother out of her life in order to lead a normal existence, but she really doesn't touch on that except superficially. I'm also curious about why DYFS or some other protective service was never brought in. It seemed to be out in the open that her mother was messed up & all the adults in Sonnenberg's life were aware of this fact. All in all, this book wasn't what I expected it to be.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Very disturbing memoir of conflict between a mother-daughter vs. insanity. The author minces no words. If you like reading about dysfunctional families, you will enjoy this.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 170 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I was not a huge fan of this book, perhaps i did not feel that the mother was the monster her daughter wanted the reader to think she was. i just did not sympathize with any of the people and felt the need to complete the book only because i had started to read it.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This turned out to be not at all what I expected. I found the graphic nature and the language unnecessary and offensive. The story could have been told without it but it seems the author likes the shock value. The title refers to the authors mother, but this is not about her, it's about the author, painfully, explicitly described in minute detail. As a parent herself now, one would expect her to want to keep these salacious details to herself rather than have her children have knowledge of them. I didn't like her sexual escapades described to me in all their detail, surely her sons will not like knowing of their mother's sex life let alone have it published for ALL to see.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I really thought this was a great book. I thought her writing style flowed very easily. A great memoir about a crazy mother and the affects she had on her two girls and others in her life. If you enjoy memoirs I think you will enjoy reading this book!
reviewed Her Last Death on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I adore well written memoirs and this, unfortunately, was not one of them. The writing is dry at best with Sonnenberg writing in a slice of life format when discussing her memories causing the reader to have no attachment to anyone or anything in the book. I assume, as the reader, we are supposed to sit back aghast and feel for her story, but all I could do was put the book down. A bit too bland and dry for me.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Having been raised by an emotionally disturbed mother, this book was a little uncomfortable at times. Hit too close to home.
Well written and powerful. The author isn't having a pity party. She's just telling a very complicated story of a mother/daughter relationship.
Recommend to people who aren't easily offended by sexual situations.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 157 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
There were parts of this story that were interesting. For the most part though, I found this story cumbersome and weary. So much so, that I've never finished listening to this book on CD (although I have tried, for many months). This is the first book on CD that I've never made it to the end.....and I don't care. I can't tell whether the writer wants the reader to feel sympathy for her because she had such a terrible childhood, or if she is trying to prove to the reader how cool she was because of her knowledge of sex and drugs from an early age. This just isn't my cup of tea. We've all struggled with our own identity to get to where we are. This is narcissism at a fundamental level.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read a little over a hundred pages and realized that I was forcing myself to read. Although the content was riveting I was forming zero connections to any of the characters. It was a memoir and it felt disjointed at times and hard to follow.

I did not finish the book.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book & it was a quick read. There are some harsh, yet brutally honest feelings towards the mother.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 10 more book reviews
Susanna Sonnenberg has an incredible literary voice and her narration of the story added new depth to a wonderful novel. Highly suggested!!
reviewed Her Last Death on + 73 more book reviews
Honest and captivating.....I loved hearing the reader's sweet voice. Reminded me of my past with a free-spirited Mom.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 907 more book reviews
Trying to make myself finish, i read almost half of this book, then asked myself "why am i doing this?". It was boring and i found i was forcing myself to read. Personally i just could not get into it. I had to stop as i know there is a more interesting book out there to spend my time with.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 5 more book reviews
I felt the same way about wanting more details regarding the mother/daughtrt relationship and a little less about the author's love/sex life. It was an Ok read
reviewed Her Last Death on
This book was just "Ok". I felt like I wanted more details at times and then was bored in the last few chapters. I would not recommend this book.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 100 more book reviews
Didn't dislike it, but didn't love it. I've certainly read similar stories and memoirs. I get it and it doesn't surprise me how things turned out in the end. My frustration comes mostly from the difficulty in keeping track of names (especially when moved to nicknames) and timelines. Perhaps that just really solidifies the chaos of her upbringing, but it didn't work very well for me.

Where I did start to get really invested was around the chapter titled "Choosing."

I'm sure bits and pieces can speak to many different people and I passed it on for someone else to enjoy.
reviewed Her Last Death on
Thought it was kinda slow in the beginning, but really got into. Couldn't put it down till I was done.
reviewed Her Last Death on + 9 more book reviews
Interesting read. You really get to know this dysfunctional family.
reviewed Her Last Death on
I love a good memoir. I read Sonnenberg's She Matters first,
then read Her Last Death. Wonderful to read them together~
reviewed Her Last Death on + 112 more book reviews
train wreck of a book
reviewed Her Last Death on + 6 more book reviews
an okay book