How do we come to terms with our mortality? How do we want to be remembered? Lauren Grodstein’s Our Short History follows the story of Karen Neulander, who has stage IV ovarian cancer, and her son, Jake. Candid and poignant, this novel portrays an accurate representation of life with all its intricacies and beauty.

Driven, vulnerable, funny, and witty–Karen Neulander is a character many will admire and relate to. With her illness, she realizes that coming to terms with mortality means accepting death as an integral part of human existence. In an attempt to pass her own wisdom, she writes a book for her son, Jake. The book becomes a vestige of herself that will always be with Jake, even long after she’s gone. Our Short Story is ipso facto Karen’s book. By writing in this viewpoint, Grodstein permits the readers to vicariously step out of their own skin and live into another.

Grodstein’s Our Short Story puts the meaning and purpose of human life in perspective and exemplifies the transcendent nature of love. A breathtaking and compelling novel that demands to be read.

Rating 3/4

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