Our Short History is the heart-breaking story of a mom’s future good-bye to her six-year-old son. Karen Neulander has ovarian cancer and does not know how much longer she has to live. Remission is a distant memory and Karen must plan for her son’s future; a future without her in it. Karen is a single parent once in love with Jake’s father, Dave. When Karen discovered she was pregnant Dave insisted he did not want children, so she left. Now that she is dying, Jake wants to meet his father, and so begins the push and pull of doing what one wants versus what might be best for the son she loves more than anyone else in the world.
Our Short History documents Karen’s process of dealing with cancer, lost love, and the unconditional love of a child all in the format of a book written to her son that he will read later when she is gone. The details of the ovarian cancer are extremely accurate (Grodstein did her research!) and any woman dealing with the disease will connect immediately to Karen. All readers will acknowledge the honesty and anguish of impending death, single parenthood, and allowing someone back into her life after being hurt. Grodstein’s writing is detailed, accurate, and emotional. This reviewer read the book in one sitting, so be forewarned that once started this book will be impossible to put down.