The Things That Need Doing A Memoir Review Guest Reviewer James Frey on The Things That Need Doing Beginning in late September 2006 fifty-eight-year-old public health nurse and lifelong Akron Ohio resident Susan Manning endured some thirteen months of hospitalization following a heart attack and cancer diagnosis the majority of that time spent at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic. Price tag 2.4 million. And for all but a couple of days her only child twenty-seven-year-old New York City transplant and aspiring writer Sean was there at her bedside right up until the moment of her death. He contends that reading Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking and Philip Roth’s Patrimony did little to help him cope with his grief yet like those two works The Things That Need Doing is unflinching in its portrayal of sickness—relentless vomiting coughed-up blood clots seeping orifices and leaking tubes. Manning also turns his unsparing eye on the hospital environment capturing everything from the color-coded scrubs to the framed newspaper articles lining the hallways to the different stitching on the white coats of training and attending doctors all of it “intended to engender trust allay fear promote tranquility emit refinement and above all conceal the chaos and profaneness truer to its character.” Tempering this nightmarish drama is Manning’s comically aggrieved Cleveland sports fandom as well as his fascinating family history. His grandfather was a basketball star at Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary High School seventy years ahead of LeBron James. His father rose from rubber factory production line to the company’s front office while Susan changed careers and enrolled in college at age forty. Then there’s the unprecedented amicableness of his parents’ divorce. So close would they remain in fact that his father visited the hospital almost as regularly as Sean himself as did his mother’s siblings and best friend and Sean’s girlfriend who flew in from New York every other weekend. “What gets most people ” he writes “is that I went through all this without any brothers and sisters. But…I wasn’t on my own.” Nor is anyone who’s ever experienced or is perhaps in the midst of experiencing the prolonged illness of a loved one—not after reading this inspiring heartbreaking often hilarious and altogether important book. p Read more From Publishers Weekly An only childs final months caring for his dying mother proves an ordinary universal story--and tremendously moving in the hands of Akron Ohio-born journalist Manning. After complications from a heart attack Mannings mother a 58-year-old nurse who had battled asthma and Hodgkins lymphoma earlier in her life spends a year in Cleveland Clinics Respiratory Special Care Unit undergoing intensely painful and intrusive treatments including feeding tubes and lung suctioning. When his mother grows increasingly debilitated despite moments of hope and isnt strong enough to undergo the radiation needed to combat a cancerous clot found in her lungs shes eventually moved to an Akron hospice. At the time Manning was a journalist and caterer living in New York City with his girlfriend Elaine and just turning 27 he moved to Cleveland visiting his mother daily and advocating for her care. He re-creates this wrenching time with the help of his Aunt Claires journal alternating these events with memories of his growing up in Akron attending St. Vincent-St. Marys school into Clevelands professional sports teams. He expresses by turns his incredulity and anger at his mothers final agony resigned to his powerlessness and simply determined to do what he could until the end love her. Dec. c Copyright PWxyz LLC. All rights reserved. Read more See all Editorial Reviews
AvailabilityIn Stock $5.98
Honest and moving
This is an incredibly moving narrative from an extremely talented young man. I had fallen in love with Mannings editoria
do not buy this book
I will read almost anything and I really mean anything. I have elderly parents of my own and am drawn to stories about t
Inspiring Tender Story of a Young Mans Love and Devotion to His Mother
Sean Manning has written a heartbreaking but courageous story of how he handled his beloved mothers long illness.As an o
Disappointing it could have been so much more.
Being an only child and having lost one parent and the other ailing I was hoping to find some insight in this book. It w

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