Follow Us @soratemplates

05 April, 2019

#BookReview :: The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe

Mary Anne Schwalbe is waiting for her chemotherapy treatments when Will casually asks her what she's reading. The conversation they have grows into tradition: soon they are reading the same books so they can have something to talk about in the hospital waiting room. Their choices range from classic (Howards End) to popular (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), from fantastic (The Hobbit) to spiritual (Jon Kabat-Zinn), with many more in between. We hear their passion for reading and their love for each other in their intimate and searching discussions. 

Goodreads * Amazon

I am not much of a non-fiction reader. I picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend even though I had my doubts about whether I would actually like it.

The End of Your Life Book Club is the story of a mother-son duo, Mary Anne and Will Schwalbe, as they connect through the books that they are reading. And oh! all this while Mary Anne is going through her chemotherapy. The book basically chronicles Mary Anne’s life once she is diagnosed with Cancer and the connection she builds with her son Will through their mutual love for books.

There are three aspects of the book that I loved – one Mary Anne’s positive attitude towards the hand that life has dealt her. The second point that had me interested was the books that they read and discussed and finally, the connection that these books created between the mother and son. Pancreatic Cancer, or any Cancer for that matter, is a tough battle. The hospital rounds for chemotherapy and radiation and their side effects often leave the patients physically and emotionally drained. But Mary Anne had lived a full life doing what she wanted and fighting for the causes that she believed in. So it was no shocker that she fought against cancer with the same attitude that she always had for life.

The books that they read and discussed were from a wide selection of genres. It was interesting to see the different takes on different books from the same two people. Their discussions were lively and entertaining for most parts.  As a bookworm myself, I have always believed in the power of books to bring people together and Mary Anne and Will’s relationship duration only furthered my conviction.

I have to admit that I enjoyed the book much more than I expected to and I would recommend it to people who love the dosage of reality in their books. However, I have to point out that even though the title may sound suggestive of the book being mainly about the two-person book club, it is not. There is a lot about other books, but it is mostly about Mary Anne’s life and Will’s take on the enigma that Mary Anne was to him.

This post is a part of A to Z Challenge and BlogchatterA2Z


  1. I haven’t heard of this one before but you’ve sold it to me in your review. I think I’ll like it. Very well-written post, crisp and engaging. :)

  2. It is one of my favorite books of 2018, and I am glad that you loved it too, DD! :-)

  3. Surely the book entered my list of NEXT BOOKS. beautifully written, Vinay..