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A Very Easy Death

Unabridged Audio Book

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Hillary Huber

3 Hours 6 Minutes

Blackstone Audiobooks

February 2005

Audio Book Summary

When her mother was in the hospital with terminal cancer, Simone had time to reminisce about her mother’s early life, as Simone and her sister, Poupette, prepared to face the decision of whether to prolong a life when it is full of suffering. Like most people, they believed that it would be better to die than to continue to suffer, but their mother had a very different view of the matter. Françoise de Beauvoir had finally found happiness in her life, and she truly believed she could find happiness in her own suffering.
Considered by many to be the master work by Simone de Beauvoir, A Very Easy Death focuses on death and the other limitations in one’s life and with what attitude one approaches them. Through her mother’s beauty, her smile, and her pride in her life and in herself, Simone learned that to be human and to have individual choice are the most important aspects of existence.

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  • Anonymous

    Because there have been so many books like this in the past decades (women describing the death of their mothers), it might be easy to overlook the beauty and simplicity of this one. De Beauvoir is tortuously honest, and introspective in this book, almost embarrassingly so. It appears she was not very close to her mother, but through months of personal care, comes to dread her coming end, and perhaps truly love her. And unlike the title, it is not an easy death for her mother. She wants desperately to live. There are few, but bright references to her relationship with Sartre. And his influence on her is subtle but strong, even so far as the way she describes her mother's feelings of her body, "I feel as if my right side is gone." And they glow with the strangeness of onrushing death. It is a softly surreal book that gives us a long, personal look at one of the most interesting women of the 20th century.

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