Bettyville

  • by George Hodgman
  • Narrated by Jeff Woodman
  • 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A witty, tender memoir of a son's journey home to care for his irascible mother - a tale of secrets, silences, and enduring love
When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself - an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook - in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can't bring himself to force her from the home both treasure - the place where his father's voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay.
As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty's life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving listeners from their small town - crumbling but still colorful - to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman's debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son's return.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Title Should Be Georgeville-It's All About George

Once again the publisher summary misleads. Saying that this memoir is like The End of Life Book Club is just plain ridiculous. The only thing these two books have in common is that they are stories about a mother who is dying and her son. The End of Life Book Club is a loving eulogy written by a son. In that book the mother still has insight and the ability to read a collection of books with her son and discuss them. They connect.

This book starts out funny. Bitingly funny. Everything is a joke. Betty is portrayed as a character, a card, a total individual. A woman who cares deeply about her talents, appearance, her place in her community and most of all what people think. It is cringeworthy how she is laid bare with all her foibles hung out on the wash line to dry.

To me, there is a great deal of anger in the author's humor. Sharp anger that cuts deep, exposes and wounds.
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- Sara "Avid Reader"

Not what I expected but very good!

The story is funny (though in no way a comedy) and at the same time touching and insightful. Maybe because I am close in age to the author and lived through the same times, I found the difficult periods conjuring my own sadness but they were handled beautifully. The narrator was AWESOME and I will definitely look for him when searching for new books. I enjoyed this book and recommend it.
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- Karen Davidson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-10-2015
  • Publisher: Recorded Books