Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Losing Mum And Pup by Christopher Buckley

Losing Mum And Pup is Christopher Buckley's memoir about growing up as the son of William F. Buckley and Pat Buckley, and then losing them both within a year.  It starts with the death of Pat Buckley in the hospital, and then almost a year later, ends with the death of William F. Buckley of a heart attack in his office.  Both led long, successful lives, and Christopher was in his mid-fifties when he lost them.

Many people are familiar with William F. Buckley, his years of editing the conservative magazine, National Review, and of hosting the TV show Firing Line.  Buckley is known as the lion of the modern conservative movement, and is revered by those who believe as he did.  But the book does more than rehash talk about Buckley's politics.

Christopher is successful in making his parents interesting to the reader.  Pat Buckley was known as one of the premier hostesses of New York City, a fashion plate and arbitrator of taste.  The reader also sees a side of William that might be surprising.  He was a risk-taker, both in his work life and in his personal life.  An example of this would be the time he flew to Boston in a small plane after having only an hour and a half of lessons.  He loved to sail, and some of the best family times were those spent on various boats.  He was an intensely religious man, and his religion focused his actions in every venue.  Renowned for his kindness, he befriended those of every political stripe and people in every walk of life.

Losing parents is a journey that most adults will inevitably face.  Losing Mum and Pup shows how one man went on this journey gracefully, glad that he was there for his parents in their last years.  One lesson that was evident was how little the typical family resentments between parent and child end up being, and how overpowering the influence and love between them is and how it endures.  This book is receommended for all readers.


Willow said...

I loved this book! Christopher Buckley is a very funny man, but in this book, which has a surprising amount of humor, he also writes with heart and warmth.

Jackie said...

Love Christpher Buckley, so I look forward to reading this book. Thanks for posting a reveiw on it