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Mum’s List: A Mother’s Life Lessons to the Husband and Sons She Left Behind

by St. John Greene

I knew this would be a tough book to read but I do that sometimes (I read Midwives by Chris Bohjalian during my first pregnancy and yes, it was winter. I did skip the entire emergency C-section in the snowstorm thing (it’s a huge amount of the book), I had to go back to it. I am reading his Sandcastle Girls right now and have had to put it down twice to collect myself, but more about that later.

So Mum’s List is the story of Kate Greene, a beautiful, energetic and adventurous mom of two young boys who is diagnosed with cancer and who, when she realizes that she is going to die, has the presence of mind to prepare a list of important things for the boys. Are you already tearing up? It’s okay. The wishes of this mother are the wishes of all mothers – to see their children happy. Kate Greene did the best she could to share her love of life and values with her two boys through this list. Her husband (and the longtime love of her life) is her partner in adventure and while he is the author of this book, it is Kate’s voice that comes through.

I read the book with an eye to which list items I would share – so many but here are a few:

Teach them to be on time.

Grow a sunflower now and again.

Celebrate Birthdays Big Time.

Always say what you truly mean.

Lovely. I received this book to review from Dutton but no financial remuneration. Opinions, as always are my own.


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