Customer Review

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explores the essence of Family, 7 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Sleeping Arrangements (Paperback)
SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS is an utterly irresistible and engaging memoir by Laura Shaine Cunningham, which describes her life growing up in the Bronx between the ages of 5 and 16. At the beginning of the book, she is taken care of by her mother and sole parent, Rosie. (It isn't until the end of the memoir that the reader has anything approaching a clear idea of what happened to her father, Larry. Even then, it stays fuzzy because Laura never finds out herself.) Soon, however, Rosie dies, apparently of cancer. Young Laura ("Lily") then comes under the care of her mother's eccentric brothers, 38 year old Gabe and 40 year old Len - two "O.B.s", i.e. "old bachelors". A bit later, the group is enlarged when Lily's senile maternal grandmother, Etka, moves in.
Since I did my growing up as a little boy, it was enlightening to see a glimpse of how it was endured by the other half. It was also quite amazing to read what details Lily remembers of her earliest school experiences. I can barely remember at 5 going to nursery school and that we were expected to take afternoon naps - perhaps for the mental relief of our minders, not ourselves. In any case, Laura relates the events of her childhood with humor and pathos. When her grandmother moves in, she expects the old lady to conform with her experience of her friends' grandmothers, i.e. to be a cookie maker. Yet, when left alone with her for the first time:
"I look at her, expecting her to toss off her tailored jacket, tuck up her cuffs, and roll out the cookie dough. Instead, she purses her lips in an expression she learned as a child, and tilts her head in a practiced way: 'Now, perhaps, you could fix me a little lunch?'. It isn't supposed to be this way, I think as I take her order: 'toasted cheese sandwich and a sliced orange'."
Later, when on a child's guilt trip reliving the sins of her young life, Lily remembers:
"And last and worst, on the final night of my mother's life, when Gabe held the phone to my ear and said, 'Say goodbye to your mother', I had made a joke of it, and said, 'Goodbye', only it was - forever."
Today, when the repercussions of a broken home loom large in society's consciousness due to the well publicized meltdowns of a sick few, SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS serves as a gentle reminder that home, for a child, is where the love is - whether it comes from a father, mother, uncles, aunts, or grandparents.
I liked this book a lot, and I think you will too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.8 out of 5 stars (11 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer

Mr. Joe
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Location: Glendale, CA USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 596