Photo: Philip Friedman/Studio D
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Watching your mother die is horrible enough. Watching her die because your father is denying her medical treatment is, for most of us, unimaginable. But not for Lucia Greenhouse, whose fathermothergod (Crown) is as much an indictment of Christian Science as it is a memoir of her family's experience of loss. Skeptical from childhood about the faith that says sickness is not real, that it's merely "erroneous belief," Greenhouse finally breaks with her zealot father as her mother, Joanne, lies dying in a church-run (nonmedical) nursing home. Had Joanne—an adult convert whose parents were medical professionals and whose brother, a plastic surgeon, is a critic of the faith—opted for prayer over treatment? Or was she simply too sick to argue? If only Lucia and her siblings could have learned the answer to this painful question before it was too late.
— Sara Nelson