The Habit

The Habit There is an unmistakable gleam in Ma s eye and her absolute composure both appalls me and rips my heart from its root I burst into tears The gauntlet is thrown From the time she was conceived Susan

  • Title: The Habit
  • Author: Susan Morse
  • ISBN: 9781453221006
  • Page: 264
  • Format: Paperback
  • There is an unmistakable gleam in Ma s eye, and her absolute composure both appalls me and rips my heart from its root I burst into tears The gauntlet is thrown.From the time she was conceived, Susan Morse was her mother s special child For Susan, special translated into becoming her incorrigible mother s frazzled caretaker, a role that continued into adulthood Now sThere is an unmistakable gleam in Ma s eye, and her absolute composure both appalls me and rips my heart from its root I burst into tears The gauntlet is thrown.From the time she was conceived, Susan Morse was her mother s special child For Susan, special translated into becoming her incorrigible mother s frazzled caretaker, a role that continued into adulthood Now she finds herself as part of the sandwich generation, responsible for a woman whose eighty five years have been single mindedly devoted to identifying The Answer To Everything And, this week s Answer looks like it may be the real thing.Susan s mother is becoming a nun.Mother Brigid is opinionated and discerning Don t call them trash cans They re scrap baskets , feisty and dogmatic Stop signs and No Parking zones are installed by bureaucratic pencil pushers with nothing better to do , a brilliant artist truly, a saving grace , and predictably unpredictable, recently demonstrated by her decision to convert to Orthodox Christianity and join its holy order Dressed in full nun regalia, she might be mistaken for a Taliban bigwig But just as Mother Brigid makes her debut at church, a debilitating accident puts her in a rehab center hours from Susan s home, where Susan s already up to her neck juggling three teenagers, hot flashes, a dog, two cats, and a husband whose work pulls him away from the family for months at a time Now Susan gets to find out if it s less exhausting to be at her mother s beck and call from one hundred miles away or one hundred feet And she s beginning to suspect that the things she always thought she knew about her mother were only the tip of a wonderfully singular iceberg In this fresh, funny, utterly irresistible memoir, Susan Morse offers readers a look at a mother daughter relationship that is both universal and unique For anyone who s wondered how they made it through their childhood with their sanity intact, for every multitasking woman coping simultaneously with parents and children, for those of us who love our parents come hell or high water because we just can t help it , Susan Morse s story is surprising, reassuring, and laugh out loud funny A beguiling journey of love, forbearance, and self discovery, The Habit introduces two unforgettable women you ll be glad to know from a safe distance Susan s epic effort to differentiate herself from the consuming power of this unique woman is every woman s struggle, but writ large, crazy, and funny Rosanne Cash, author of Composed Susan Morse writes in a dream state, and The Habit is funny and moving and wise After reading it, you ll see Susan s mother in a whole new way, and your own mother, too Michael Bamberger, author of The Swinger In her portrait of her hilarious and heroic struggle with an almost impossiblemother, Susan Morse has captured the mother daughter paradox like no one else in recent memory Rebecca Pepper Sinkler, former editor of the New York Times Book Review Morse s caustic, changeable, demanding, smarty pants mother is a late life Sharon Sedaris, had Sharon Sedaris lived and become an Orthodox Christian nun in her eighties, and Morse herself is a crackerjack guide Cynthia Kaplan, author of Why I m Like This A page turning, humorous account of one woman s experience during her difficult mother s turbulent journey into old age A lively testament to a complicated though loving mother daughter relationship Kirkus Reviews A sometimes searing, often hilarious account of a mother daughter relationship Hallmark probably doesn t have a card for Ellen Gray, Philadelphia Daily NewsSusan Morse was educated at Williams College and has worked as an actress in L.A and New York She now lives in Philadelphia with her husband, David, and their three children She has edited fiction, although this book is nonfiction Mostly She promises.

    One thought on “The Habit”

    1. Reading "The Habit" was like sitting at a cozy café with a good friend, drinking coffee, sharing our souls and lives and laughing our asses off. The book begins and ends within the span of one year, but Susan Morse's narrative on her life, and that of her mother's, covers 150+ years, which gives this very personal account its heart and soul. It was difficult to put "The Habit" down to eat, sleep and care for my family. Ms. Morse's writing style is reminiscent of David Sedaris and Nora Ephron, y [...]

    2. Huh. This is a wildly zany memoir from the daughter of a woman who becomes an Orthodox nun in her 80s. Obviously written from the perspective of someone who is not Orthodox, I was intrigued by how things that make sense to me, or I understand were perceived and I thought it added an interesting dimension.However, this is truly a small part of the story. The bulk of the story is the sandwich generation and how women (and men, but that's not the focus) juggle being a parent and child at the same t [...]

    3. You might appreciate this book if you are the daughter of a difficult and narcissistic mother, and your filial sense of responsibility means that you are the person who is primarily responsible for helping wade through the shark-infested waters of insurance issues and medical appointments when your elderly mother becomes ill. I identified with the author who was trying to juggle family and work responsibilities while really trying to help her mother deal with a life-changing illness. Some people [...]

    4. Not for me. I picked this book so that my wife and I could read it together and I was thinking my wife would like this because she has an interesting relationship with her mother.Sadly, I learned that's really not what this book is mostly about -- not about relationships, but instead about the frantic and frustrating life of a care manager for a parent approaching the end of her earthly life -- i.e. heath care and the medical world is the antagonist in this drama.The whole time I was ready of th [...]

    5. part biography, part autobiography, Susan Morris humorously traces her "special" relationship with her difficult mother from a challenging childhood to the change in her mother which begins with her conversion to Orthodox Christianity and taking the vows of a nun at age 84. While the mother faces several health challenges with faith and acceptance, Susan throws herself into managing her mother's health care and finances, running herself ragged in the process. All turns out well and Susan is thri [...]

    6. This is a delightful memoir, written by actor David Morse's wife Susan. She tells of her uneven relationship with her mother as she was growing up, and now finds herself in the role of caretaker as her mother ages (85 yrs) and develops health issues (broken bones from falling and cancer). With a good dose of humor and open-eyed confusion when embroiled in the health care bog - Medicare vs HMO vs Medicaid; assisted living vs skilled nursing vs home health - she at once amuses us, educates us, and [...]

    7. Call me crazy (crazy!), but I usually rely on the book's synopsis to tell me what the book will be about. This was a case of false advertising by the synopsis. It's not about her mother's spiritual journey and her 6 attempts to become a nun in different religions. Rather, it was about 10% about when the mother finally becomes a nun and 90% about Morse's elder care for her mother and her mother's medical issues. Although Morse's writing is witty, I found all the medical and HMO ordeals to be stre [...]

    8. I thought this book was about an 85 year-old-woman who becomes a nun (which could make a great story), but this is really a story about the author's having to take care of her aging mother as she battles cancer. What a whiner! There were a few humourous parts when Susan Morse was dealing with the HMOs, but mainly she talks about how difficult her mother was (which I couldn't see from the examples she gave). She complains about her Mother's spirituality, when really her spiritual community gave h [...]

    9. This had moment of humor, empathy, enlightenment. It was well written. Unfortunately, the author misses something trying to write about the intimate details and emotions of the past while having the perspective of the present. We readers can't quite see how her mother's ways affected her and her siblings (or other people). I trust the author about this, but I can't sense it for myself. Which in turn makes it hard to appreciate how far things have come in the end. So certainly not a waste of time [...]

    10. The sandwich generation will appreciate this memoir. Loved the fact this is not a sentimental sappy story. Fighting insurance companies and finding long term care are enough of a hurdle without adding old childhood anxieties to pile on the frustration. Plus your teenage son needs help with his homework and dinner and is learning to drive so when your heart attack happens he can save your life! I literally laughed out loud like I do when reading David Sedaris.

    11. The Habit is the story of a woman who becomes a nun in her 80s. She has tried and been fanatical about several religions in her life before she becomes a Greek Orthodox nun. When I selected this book, I missed that it was non-fiction. I mean - who really becomes a nun at that age? It is an interesting look at the balance of caring for your aging parents and managing your own family. I didn't relate to it all that well.

    12. This was a fun memoir, but I came to believe the author was very funny and maybe a bit nuts, the way she imagined herself being when she was busy advocating for someone dear to her. I could relate to the sandwich generation and actually liked her take on the medical/residential choices available for elderly and how our system is not very clear or supportive. I enjoyed the final comments from her mother too. "No one dies," a very spiritual message.

    13. Morse’s strong-willed, quirky mother becomes a nun at the age of eighty-five. She ends up being the principal caregiver of her mother and writes about her struggle with their relationship while she frantically attempts to balance her own busy life. Many reviews raved about how humorous and poignant this book was. I couldn’t get past Morse’s neurotic, obsessive nature. For me, the book was more annoying than enjoyable, and definitely not funny.

    14. It's about how we see and understand our mother when we are an adult, especially when roles start to reverse as they age and need help during an illness. The author makes peace with some bad memories and forgives her mom as she recognizes similar traits in herself. It's a wonderful book that you find yourself laughing and crying with at unexpected moments. I hope the author writes more books

    15. I thought this book about a daughter and her aging mother were delightful. This is a memoir and I think because of my age and the aging parent situation I was able to relate well to this story. A fast and funny read. There were many laugh out loud moments. I liked the writing you could feel the frustrations as well as the triumphs.

    16. Yuck. Way too much information about bowel movements, toilet habits and yucky surgical procedures. I thought this was going to be a lighthearted memoir about someone's mother's journey to becoming a nun. That turned out to be a very minor detail. Overall, the tone was depressing and negative. Painted a dismal picture of elderly life. Warning: Don't read while eating.

    17. Parts of this book are hilarious. Since I am currently living this woman's life I could relate completely. I had to read in small amounts because her life in addition to mine was completely overwhelming at times. Anyone taking care of an aging parent while balancing other responsibilities should read this book.

    18. Just not my cup of tea. I think the description is misleading, as the mom becoming nun is such a small part of book. There were funny moments, sweet ones toobut overall this book fell flat to me. I don't want to be mean or political, but it came across as a liberal woman whining and complaining while blaming everything on everyone else.cially Republicans.

    19. Ugh! First of all, I struggled to even get 1/2 way through this book. Secondly, who speaks so openly negative & disrespectfully about their mother!?! And "laugh out loud funny"t so much. My last and final gripery scattered writing, she jumps from one thought to another so quickly and what's with all the Gaga's!?! Two thumbs down!

    20. Hello all, The Habit, by Susan Morse is being released on Tuesday, Nov 8th. Get it on Kindle, Nook or paper back and hard copy. First time author, this is Susan's true story of taking care of her mother through illness and back. Written with good humor and insight, in that inbetween place daughter, mother, wife and juggling responsibilities life gives to us.

    21. Some reviewers felt the author was disrespectful toward her mother. That was not what I picked up from my read. Anyone who has helped an aging person through health issues can relate to the descriptions of how the process really removes the humanity from the endeavor. This is what captured my attention. It is funny and moving and worth the read.

    22. Remembering to laughDealing with my own aging parents, this gave me a not so shuttle reminder to keep my sense of humor. What I enjoyed the most was how Susan was able to forgive herself for not always being the perfect daughter and to enjoy all the wonder in as many moments as you can.

    23. I read this book at a time when I can relate to the problems of an aging parent and resolving (coming to grips with) the monther-daughter angst, Susan Morse wrote this with humor and enough insight that draws you in to her crazy dance with her Mom and yet reminds the reader that ties run deep.

    24. I really enjoyed this nonfiction story of a daughter's relationship with her mother (and siblings) as the mother ages, needs surgery, and some kind of assisted living. What a character! But it is a sweet story with a "happy" ending.

    25. I got through only about 100 pages of this book and gave up. Pretty dull, bad writing as expected from most memoirs, it just plodded along from paragraph to paragraph. I am surprised by the many high reviews.

    26. very nice, about an interesting family. lots of local (philadelphia) color. a little ranty in the middle, but it's about the health care system so who can really complain?

    27. Laugh out loud funny at times Seemed to drag in the middle. Enjoyed the way she looked a things. Made me appreciate my mother!

    28. different. Gave it 4 stars because it is a true story and i enjoyed the peak into the mother-daughter relationship

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