Get a free audiobook

All Things Consoled

A Daughter's Memoir
Written by: Elizabeth Hay
Narrated by: Elizabeth Hay
Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

From Elizabeth Hay, one of Canada's most beloved novelists, comes a startling and beautiful memoir about the drama of her parents' end and the longer drama of being their daughter.

Winner of the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Jean and Gordon Hay were a colorful, formidable pair. Jean, a late-blooming artist with a marvelous sense of humor, was superlatively frugal; nothing got wasted, not even maggoty soup. Gordon was a proud and ambitious schoolteacher with a terrifying temper, a deep streak of melancholy, and a devotion to flowers, cars, words, and his wife. 

As old age collides with the tragedy of living too long, these once ferociously independent parents become increasingly dependent on Lizzie, the so-called difficult child. By looking after them in their final decline, she hopes to prove that she can be a good daughter after all. 

In this courageous memoir, written with tough-minded candor, tenderness, and wit, Elizabeth Hay lays bare the exquisite agony of a family's dynamics - entrenched favoritism, sibling rivalries, grievances that last for decades, genuine admiration, and enduring love. In the end, she reaches a more complete understanding of the most unforgettable characters she will ever know, the vivid giants in her life who were her parents.

©2018 Elizabeth Hay (P)2018 McClelland & Stewart

What the critics say

"Piercingly candid and exquisitely written, Elizabeth Hay’s memoir describes the intensity of the love, uncertainty and exasperation triggered by her parents’ dying. Yet there is humor here, too, even - especially - after the final good-byes.” (Charlotte Gray, author of The Promise of Canada

“Elizabeth Hay is a marvel. She honors her parents in this portrait of their final years. As steadfast a daughter as she is a writer, Hay writes with sometimes scalding authenticity about aging and the challenges that come with the end of a life, but she is never less than tender. I loved this moving memoir.” (Michael Redhill, author of Bellevue Square)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book is one that I'll enjoy more than once.

An absolute gem of a story. I fell in love with the writing, character's and the journey it took me on.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved this audiobook

absolutely loved this book a the authors ability to paint scenes with words a few years, chuckles and ahas

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An unflinching reflection shimmering with love

May’s reflections are deeply personal, unflinching and profoundly moving. Anyone who has ever cared for an aging parent will recognize May’s struggle and its accompanying grace that redeems them all.
I was moved by her reading and felt privileged to enter the intimate world she so thoughtfully and generously recreates.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful