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Summary

In this profoundly honest and examined memoir about returning to Iowa to care for her ailing parents, the star of Orange Is the New Black and best-selling author of Born with Teeth takes us on an unexpected journey of loss, betrayal, and the transcendent nature of a daughter’s love for her parents.

They say you can’t go home again. But when her father is diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer and her mother with atypical Alzheimer’s, New York-based actress Kate Mulgrew returns to her hometown in Iowa to spend time with her parents and care for them in the time they have left.

The months Kate spends with her parents in Dubuque - by turns turbulent, tragic, and joyful - lead her to reflect on each of their lives and how they shaped her own. Those ruminations are transformed when, in the wake of their deaths, Kate uncovers long-kept secrets that challenge her understanding of the unconventional Irish Catholic household in which she was raised.

Breathtaking and powerful, laced with the author’s irreverent wit, How to Forget is a considered portrait of a mother and a father, an emotionally powerful memoir that demonstrates how love fuses children and parents, and an honest examination of family, memory, and indelible loss.

©2019 Kate Mulgrew (P)2019 HarperAudio

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kept my addicted to the end

having read 'Born with teeth', I half expected this to be just a rehash of the same material but it isn't. Some of the same topics are there but it's cleverly written and with more depth.

This book is a lovely long journey well worth taking, written with love and full of emotion.

Highly reccomend.

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Outstanding

Kate Mulgrew details, with remarkable honesty, the ups and downs of family life. It is a very raw and moving account of her love for her mother and her cruel descent into Alzheimer’s disease, and her sometimes difficult relationship with her father. The narration by the author adds a great deal of feeling making this one of the most memorable audiobooks I have ever listened to

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Just as Emotive and Enthralling as Born With Teeth

When Kate Mulgrew towards the end of the book descrives her husband telling her of her Mother's pride is describing her as an accomplished theatre actor I was in full agreement with her delight in hearing that truth. I loved the autobiography, its dazzling honesty and charm but the trading of this incredible journey through the loss of parents I found compelling and touching and thoroughly relatable. I will be listening to everything Kate records just as I eagerly devour all her acting performances!

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Hauntingly beautiful

Fantastic and honest, the only way Kate Mulgrew knows how to be, heart breaking and funny all at the same time. You get a glimpse in to the characters of her parents and family through the good times and those that can easily destroy a family.
Wonderful book

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A worthy follow up to Born With Teeth

Beautifully written and honest look at one’s parents. Looking honestly at their struggles there triumphs, faults and strengths. And a child’s relationship with their parents over a lifetime and coming to terms with losing the ones they love. Well worth listening too.

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Brilliant.

A brilliant book. I love it. Heartstrings pulled in the right places. Expertly excicuted.

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Beautiful & moving

Loced every minute of this book, you get to hear another side of Kate Mulgrew. She's one hell of a woman.

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Another great book by Kate Mulgrew

Beautiful Storytelling shared with an authentic tone. Thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

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An absolutely wonderful book.

I love Kate’s writing, and story telling style. There is so much real life courage, love, honesty, heartbreak, humor and a basic enthusiasm for life and family. A wonderful book.

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How we are drawn to the truth.

Keep writing.I love your honest take on growing old and its afflictions.from an irish Cailín

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Profile Image for Dr. Chris P. Hafner
  • Dr. Chris P. Hafner
  • 27-05-19

Dr. Kate Mulgrew articulates end-of-life relationships fluently

As professional as her acting & as entrancing as her characters “Captain Katherine Janeway” in Star Trek & “Red” in Orange is the New Black, Dr. Kate Mulgrew’s superb writing weaves the threads of past relationships with the complexities of grown sibling & parental-offspring realities. She amazingly articulates end-of-life relationships fluently so that the listener both can relate & learn. Well written & performed.
~Dr. Chris Patricia Hafner*
(*Hafner-Eaton, 1986-2016)

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  • A. Cox
  • 07-08-19

I will read everything narrated by her

Kate Mulgrew is an amazing narrator. After listening to two of her memoirs, I have come to know that she is also a talented story writer as well.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Jenthebutler
  • 17-06-19

really enjoyed this

I wasn't aware Kate Mulgrew was also an accomplished writer and having enjoyed her acting as Janeway and Red I thought I'd give this a shot. I always appreciate when authors give they're own voice to the audible version and this was no exception. Kate speaks truth and mirth into the story so you keep wanting to hear what's next just to get her take on it. I will make a point of finding her previous written work.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Terry Rusinow
  • 12-06-19

A Wonderful Memoir

I've now listened to both of Kate Mulgrew's books and loved them both. How to Forget is so full of vividly described personal stories. Her writing is magnificent. It made me cry and laugh and think. Her description of her mother's Alzheimer's was particularly moving. What an amazing family and well-written memoir.

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  • wd
  • 01-06-19

A beautiful, touching story

I listen to a lot of books and am rarely moved to write a review. This book is truly touching and beautiful.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Grace Stuart
  • 09-06-19

Reads like a movie

Wonderful yet heartbreaking story. ...needed a bit of editing in some parts that languished.
But Kate Mulgrew is a fantastic storyteller and she "sets the stage" with visual details...like a movie. Actually that isn't at all surprising given her actoing acumen.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 31-05-19

Raw

Kate Mulgrew writes and narrates her intimate memories of family during personal,emotional, heartbreaking times. The care and loss of her parents, the struggles between siblings. and the love and support of those closest.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Morningside
  • 31-05-19

such a fantastic book. Kate.....you are great!!!

I loved born with teeth. I loved how to forget. Amazingly truthful. Amazingly real. I could listen to you narrate the phone book! Please, write another book!!

15 people found this helpful

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  • Harris Daniels
  • 12-06-20

Tear Jerker

Kate's dramatic voice brings me to tears every time! Great book and look into the life of marriage illness and death.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Marilyn
  • 01-09-19

Exceeded Expectations

I've always liked Kate Mulgrew as an actress, but never knew she was such a gifted writer. I was fully engrossed in this book, enjoying both the words and the narration. I was so impressed that I'll seek out her other books.

4 people found this helpful