He's a sentimental bastard. I just finished reading his last literary effort, "for one more day".
I don't know why I read his books. Well, yes I do, to be honest. I like them.
And this last one hit me where I live, I reckon.
I have had really nice boo-hoo's reading his other books. Why should this one be any different?
A story of every mother's son. This is the story of Charley "Chick" Benetto and the relationship he had with his mother. Or didn't have.
As a kid Chick is told by his father, he has to make a choice. He can be a mama's boy or a daddy's boy, but he cannot be both. He chooses to be a daddy's boy. He worships the ground his father walks on. Right up until (and beyond) his father leaves. Not a significant part for me.
Of course NO child should be made to make this decision.
Charley then becomes even more dependent on his mother. A lot of anger there as he yearns to be in a complete family. He is embarrassed by his mother's actions (as we all are at one point or another).
Chick's father fades in and out throughout his life. Basically all they have in common is Chick's baseball career, Once that is laid to rest by a blown out knee, Dad pretty much fades out for good.
Only to surface to pressure Chick to do an old timers game, to maybe finagle a coaching job, for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He bails from his Mother's birthday party. She dies the day after her birthday while Charley is playing baseball, still trying to win the approval of his father. And still failing.
Eight years after his Mother's demise, Chick is a broken man. He's lost his job, his family because of alcohol abuse. When he finally hits bottom, he decides to take his own life. He decides to drive to his hometown, there to end it. There is a terribly stupid accident at the exit and he is thrown clear.
He wanders around this town where he spent his childhood until he comes to his deceased Mother's house. He opens the door and she is there, cooking his breakfast. What follows is a series of vignets that took place during his life where Chick lets his mother down (Times I did not stand up for my Mother), does whatever his absentee father says and repeatedly attempts to hurt his mother. Mom raises Charley (Times my Mother stood up for me) and his sister single handed.
Through a series of sureal visits with his Mother's soon to die friends, he learns of the sacrifices Mother has made for his sister and him.
The part that got me was at the end (of course) where Chick realizes the error of his ways. This is about the time his Mom fades to black and he regains semi consciousness at the crash site. He does recover and rebuilds his relationship with his daughter.
His realization at the end of his Mother's visitation just killed me...
Iwas kinda weepy all day Sunday. I finished this book at about 5:30 Sunday morning.
Xposted @ fortysomething