In this deeply affecting graphic memoir, Moss lays out the struggles of trying to live as her husband is dying of Lou Gehrig's disease. Her simple drawings reveal the pain and anguish her characters don't know how to express in words, making the format a perfect choice for the story.
“In this achingly raw graphic memoir, Marissa Moss untangles the seven whirlwind months between her husband's ALS diagnosis and his death. Forced to balance Harvey's increasingly complex medical needs and the needs of their three young sons, Moss struggles to maintain a sense of normalcy for her family in the midst of crisis. Absent are movie-perfect declarations of love and reconciliation; Moss lays bare the emotional devastation left in the wake of Harvey's illness with her understated drawings and text. But there are moments of joy, too, reminding us beauty can be found in the darkest of times. Powerful, heartbreaking, and, ultimately, hopeful, Last Things challenges readers with its unflinching look at marriage, family, love, and loss.”
— Beth Wagner, Phoenix Books, Essex, VT
Last Things is the true and intensely personal story of how one woman coped with the devastating effects of a catastrophic illness in her family.
Using her trademark mix of words and pictures to sharp effect, Marissa Moss presents the story of how she, her husband, and her three young sons struggled to maintain their sense of selves and wholeness as a family and how they continued on with everyday life when the earth shifted beneath their feet.
After returning home from a year abroad, Marissa's husband, Harvey, was diagnosed with ALS. The disease progressed quickly, and Marissa was soon consumed with caring for Harvey while trying to keep life as normal as possible for her young children. ALS stole the man who was her husband, the father of her children, and her best friend in less than 7 months.
This is not a story about the redemptive power of a terminal illness. It is a story of resilience--of how a family managed to survive a terrible loss and grow in spite of it. Although it's a sad story, it's powerfully told and ultimately uplifting as a guide to strength and perseverance, to staying connected to those who matter most in the midst of a bleak upheaval. If you've ever wondered how you would cope with a dire diagnosis, this book can provide a powerful example of what it feels like and how to come through the darkness into the light.
About the Author
Marissa Moss has written more than seventy books, from picture books to middle-grade and young adult novels. Best known for the Amelia's Notebook series (over 5 million sold), her books are popular with teachers and children alike. Her picture book, Barbed Wire Baseball, won the California Book Award, Gold medal. Marissa is also the founder of Creston Books, an independent children's publishing house. Visit her at www.marissamoss.com
"Before reading Marissa Moss' Last Things I was unaware of how profoundly moved I could be by a graphic novel. With her gentle touch and brave honest voice, we experience how completely one's life and expectations be changed with a single devastating diagnosis. I absolutely loved Last Things!" --Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA — Reviews
"An important book that needs to be in the world. It's a hard read, but sometimes surviving and resilience is what makes people stronger. Ultimately that's what Last Things celebrates, not dying, but strength, the strength our families give us." --Kathleen Caldwell, A Great Good Place for Books, Oakland CA — Reviews
"Powerful and beautiful - this book is a great addition to the graphic novel canon." --Ian Lendler, author of The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents MacBeth — Reviews
"I was swept into the story, swept along." ? Joan Lester, author of Mama's Child — Reviews
"This is a very powerful story. It needs to be published (and I say that as someone who has no personal connection with ALS). It's a universal story of connection and separation and searching for reconnection after a loss. " --Bill Boerman-Cornell, Professor of Education, Trinity College — Reviews
"A gripping portrayal of how devastating ALS can be, but also a powerful example of resilience and hope." -Dr. Catherine Lomen-Hoerth, neurologist, ALS clinic, UCSF — Reviews
"Last Things is one of the most amazingly poignant and honest memoirs - graphic or otherwise -- I've ever encountered. This book - which I read in one insatiable sitting -- tore my heart in two. Moss handles the material with such a delicate sensibility, both with her drawings and her text, I couldn't help but let her carry me along on her journey of love and loss." -Katie Hafner, contributing writer to the New York Times and author of Mother, Daughter, Me: A Memoir — Reviews
"This journey is one that we rarely speak about, but it absolutely needs to be told. Marissa's messages to all of us are powerful, profound and touching as she navigates the death of her husband. I feel honored to be part of it." --Stuart Kelman, Founding Rabbi, Congregation Netivot Shalom — Reviews
"In this deeply affecting graphic memoir, Moss lays out the struggles of trying to live as her husband is dying of Lou Gehrig's disease. Her simple drawings reveal the pain and anguish her characters don't know how to express in words, making the format a perfect choice for the story. Those facing similar situations will feel relief at finding their struggles and confusion laid clearly on a page. A sad, haunting memoir." --Marika McCoola, New York Times bestselling author of Baba Yaga's Assistant — Reviews
"I was swept into the story, swept along." ̶ Joan Lester, author of Mama's Child — Reviews
"This is a very brave and beautifully drawn account. Anyone coping with the loss of a spouse is going to benefit - and any reader can relate to the family dynamics, the stress of caregiving, and the crisis of a terminal disease." ̶ Eleanor Vincent, author of Swimming with Maya: A Mother's Story — Reviews
"This is a very powerful story. It needs to be published (and I say that as someone who has no personal connection with ALS). It's a universal story of connection and separation and searching for reconnection after a loss." --Bill Boerman-Cornell, Professor of Education, Trinity College — Reviews
"Loving, moving, and articulate, Last Things is packed with emotional truth. It's a clear-eyed testimony to the way death arrives, sometimes inch by inch, inspiring the courage and strength and generosity that are the best things we bring to this life." --Jennifer Hayden, Eisner-nominated author of Underwire and The Story of My Tits — Reviews
"For every person affected ALS, there is a story to tell. From her front-line perspective, Marissa Moss bravely shares her family's challenges during her husband's journey with ALS in a very personal way. We are grateful for her efforts to raise awareness and support for people living with ALS and their families." --The ALS Association Golden West Chapter — Reviews