Her Last Death by Susanna Sonnenberg
A Memoir

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Her Last Death begins as the phone rings early one morning in the Montana house where Susanna Sonnenberg lives with her husband and two young sons. Her aunt is calling to tell Susanna her mother is in a coma after a car accident. She might not live. Any daughter would rush the thousands of miles to her mother's bedside. But Susanna cannot bring herself to go. Her courageous memoir explains why.

Glamorous, charismatic and a compulsive liar, Susanna's mother seduced everyone who entered her orbit. With outrageous behavior and judgment tinged by drug use, she taught her child the art of sex and the benefits of lying. Susanna struggled to break out of this compelling world, determined, as many daughters are, not to become her mother.

Sonnenberg mines tender and startling memories as she writes of her fierce resolve to forge her independence, to become a woman capable of trust and to be a good mother to her own children. Her Last Death is riveting, disarming and searingly beautiful.

About Susanna Sonnenberg

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Susanna Sonnenberg is the author of Her Last Death. She lives in Montana with her family.
Published January 1, 2008 by Scribner. 273 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Romance. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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One morning, while “leading an unremarkable life” with her husband and young sons in Montana, Sonnenberg received a phone call with the news that her mother had been severely, probably fatally injured in a car accident.

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The New York Times

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Daphne flaunted her string of lovers — including a New York Giants quarterback, a BBC executive, a Broadway actor, a Sotheby’s executive, a movie theater owner and a famous lyricist — in front of Susy and her younger sister.

Dec 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Her Last Death: A Memoir

BC Books

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But these children were captivated when their mother behaved in a loving manner, smothering them in hugs and kisses, only to be crushed and disappointed time and again, when, for a trivial reason or no reason at all, her warmth turned to anger.

Apr 02 2008 | Read Full Review of Her Last Death: A Memoir

Entertainment Weekly

As the story goes, when Susanna Sonnenberg was 2 years old, Norman Mailer took one look at her and pronounced to her mother that ''Susy's got a great ass.

Dec 14 2007 | Read Full Review of Her Last Death: A Memoir

San Francisco Chronicle

She is the driving force - both the life force and the death wish - that lies behind this devastating memoir by Susanna Sonnenberg, Daphne's estranged daughter.

Jan 04 2008 | Read Full Review of Her Last Death: A Memoir


As Susanna Sonnenberg writes in Her Last Death (Scribner), one of two new memoirs that examine this complicated loss from very different angles, "For the two weeks after my mother's wreck I walked around saying, 'She won't die.' My mother invented the waters, sky, and terrain;

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It's been a long time since a personal memoir moved me like Susanna Sonnenberg's retelling of the tortuous childhood she spent under the care of a woman not fit to care for dust bunnies, much less small, vulnerable children.

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