The End of Eve

Ariel Gore

I put this book on my to-read list shortly after it came out, and every so often I would notice it on my list, read the synopsis about Ariel Gore caring for her dying mother, and then I’d wonder if it was really something I wanted to read. Eventually five years later, I was looking for an ebook that I could download on my phone in a pinch, and it was the first thing from my list that was available. While the book does capture the physical and emotional burdens of caregiving — made significantly more challenging with Eve’s truly narcissistic tendencies — there is an impressive thread of resilience wound through all of that.

The amount of frustration Eve brings to an already difficult situation is kind of mind-blowing. From convincing Ariel, her partner, and their young son to move from their comfortable life in Portland to Sante Fe so they can all live together. Then burning most of Ariel’s possessions, immediately starting to renovate the new home, and kicking Ariel and her young family out once they arrive there. Later Eve calls child services on them for not giving the son a proper home. In the midst of this, Ariel’s partner leaves her for an ex — who is also a clown, like a literal circus clown. It just goes on and on. Even though all of these painful things happen, The End of Eve manages to read overall as a breezy, entertaining book. From the beginning Ariel sets a mantra for herself, “Behave in a way you’re going to be proud of,” and that carries her through all of these trials. A must-read memoir, there is none other quite like this.