05 July, 2010


"To open heart:
Ignore what is irrelevant to who you are.
Choose beliefs that align with how you want to feel
And what you want to create."

by Katherine Rosman

When I read the subtitle of this book - A mother, a daughter, a reporter's notebook - I thought to myself, "Uh, oh. Break out the tissues."  (As a first-time mother of a five-month-old daughter, I tend to cry at even the slightest mother/daughter comment, or blog, or stranger passing by on the subway who says my beautiful girl looks like me.)  And then when I read further on and realized it would be about a daughter's account of losing her mother to cancer... well - I made sure to have a whole box of Kleenex at the ready.

But in a sweet surprise, the book is filled with stories both sad and silly, powerful and emotional, heartbreaking and uplifting.  And I found myself wanting to share it with my very dear friend who lost her mother in her mid-twenties.  And I dog-earred passages that reminded me of another friend who loves dancing, and whose children (I presume) will one day love the fact that their mother dances.  And I wanted to call my own mother several times while reading it - and wished my daughter were old enough to tell her my own stories (soon, Lovebug, soon enough!).

Some of the things that most endeared Katherine Rosman's writing to me were the hints at spirituality and faith and a general way of living your life to the fullest - something that those of us who, thankfully, are healthy can often take for granted.  And I also loved witnessing a daughter beginning to see her mother as more than being defined by her motherhood alone - something I am just now starting to view in my own mama, and something I feel about myself as a newbie to this group. 

I intended to take one or two aspects of this memoir and relate some sort of funny, insightful, full of spirit post that would delight myself and my readers alike... yet, there are too many stories, too many ideas to which I can acutely relate - I cannot boil it down to a simple blog entry.  I will only say that as a woman who is a daughter and also a mother, this book fills me with an even deeper sense of gratitude and a reminder that this life is oh so precious.

For more quotes collected from this book, visit Borrowing Wisdom.

Disclosure: I received a copy of IF YOU KNEW SUZY by Katherine Rosman to read and discuss as a member of From Left to Write.   The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own. Click here to order your own copy of this book.


  1. I am having a hard time too, selecting one thing to write about. This book has so many little gems! It is much more than a book about death, it is about LIFE. And it is precious.

  2. I expected to cry my way through 'If You Knew Suzy' but instead just enjoyed Rosman's observations about her mother. It was an incredible way to honor her and a book worth sharing with other daughters.

  3. I am really glad the book is not too sad, or at least that the sadness is interrupted by humor. Life is sort of like that -- it leads us to the humor amid the horror, because how else would we survive? I wanted the book to reflect that. Plus, mother/daughter relationships are so rife with drama and humor and more drama ... how could I not make fun of all that!?!?

  4. beautiful blog..pls visit mine and be a follower.. thanks and God bless..