A witty, tender memoir of a son’s journey home to care for his irascible mother—a tale of secrets, silences, and enduring love
. When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay.
As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman’s debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son’s return.
I purchased the Bettyville audiobook, I may be over halfway through it. I listen to audio books while walking outside for exercise. There is no life to this novel, rambling vignettes with no highlight to them. Kind of like watching paint dry. I lost my elderly mother a few years ago and was attracted to this book because I thought I would find some kinship or at the very least some amusing entertainment. Attempts at amusement fail here. I don’t think I can struggle through to the end.