The Pleasure Was Mine

The Pleasure Was Mine Prate Marshbanks proposed to his future wife on a muggy July night at Pete s Drive in back in She said yes to me between bites of a slaw burger all the way A college graduate and daughter of a prom

  • Title: The Pleasure Was Mine
  • Author: Tommy Hays
  • ISBN: 9780312339326
  • Page: 155
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Prate Marshbanks proposed to his future wife on a muggy July night at Pete s Drive in back in 52 She said yes to me between bites of a slaw burger all the way A college graduate and daughter of a prominent lawyer, Irene was an unlikely match for Prate, a high school dropout He lived his married life aware of the question on people s minds How in the world did a tallPrate Marshbanks proposed to his future wife on a muggy July night at Pete s Drive in back in 52 She said yes to me between bites of a slaw burger all the way A college graduate and daughter of a prominent lawyer, Irene was an unlikely match for Prate, a high school dropout He lived his married life aware of the question on people s minds How in the world did a tall, thin, fair skinned beauty and one of the most respected high school English teachers in all of Greenville County, in all of South Carolina for that matter, wind up married to a short, dark, fat faced, jug eared house painter That their marriage not only survived for fifty years, but flourished, is a source of constant wonder to Prate Now he faces a new challenge with Irene.From the author of In The Family Way, a novel the Atlanta Constitution called an instant classic and the Charlotte Observer praised as a lovely, moving book, comes a powerful story of hard earned hope The Pleasure Was Mine takes place during a critical summer in the life of Prate Marshbanks, when he retires to care for his wife, who is gradually slipping away To complicate things, Prate s son, Newell, a recently widowed single father, asks Prate to keep nine year old Jackson for the summer Though Prate is irritated by the presence of his moody grandson, during the summer Jackson helps tend his grandmother, and grandfather and grandson form a bond As Irene s memory fades, Prate, a hardworking man who has kept to himself most of his life, has little choice but to get to know his family With elegance and skillful economy of language, Tommy Hays renders an unforgettable character in Prate Marshbanks The Pleasure Was Mine is at once a quietly wrenching portrayal of grief, a magical and romantic story about the power of love, and an unexpectedly moving take on the resilience of family.

    One thought on “The Pleasure Was Mine”

    1. I heard Tommy Hays at South Carolina Book Festival several years ago and he talked about his dad who had Alzheimer's. I bought the book as my mom was struggling with her memory. I now am my mom's caretaker. I appreciated the sensitivity that Hays used to deal with such a heartbreaking disease. I so understand about those moments of laughter and those times of tears.

    2. "The Pleasure Was Mine" is a beautiful story of Prate Marshbanks, a man dealing with his role as a caretaker. Prate's wife of many years is suffering with Alzheimer’s to the point where he has had to put her in a home. But the story isn't just about the disease. It is also about Prate's relationship with his son, Newell, and his grandson, Jackson. It is about Billie, the woman who lives next door and who was a friend of his wife. Billie must have heard many great stories about Prate, because s [...]

    3. This is the best thing I've read in forever--and it never made the best sellers. It is a beautiful story about Prate Marshbanks, an aging housepainter with jug ears, who deals with his wife's Alzheimer's on a daily basis. In fact, he says, "Every day with Alzheimer's is like a first date." In his eyes he never measured up to his tall, beautiful English teacher wife. Then in one summer while dealing with her, he has to care for a nine-year-old vegetarian grandson who talks little after the death [...]

    4. I am ashamed that I was sucked into this bit of silly story. If this is the best that a South Carolina fiction writer can do, then I'm ashamed for that as well. I'm also ashamed that such illustrious figures as Josephine Humphries, Walter Edgar, and Reynolds Price (oops, he's a North Carolinian, guess there are no more South Carolinians to pay off for a review) would praise this book (altho Walter Edgar, a wonderful South Carolina historian-writer in his own right is known at least to me to prom [...]

    5. I was reluctant to start this book as I thought I would cry my way through it. While I did get teary in parts near the end, for the most part it was not the total downer you would expect. The account through the husband's eyes of losing his wife to Alzheimer's is poignant but not mushy. Makes you thankful for what you have and makes you think about what may come down the road. The ending was a bit anticlimactic, but maybe that says something in and of itself.

    6. An absolutely beautiful book. This book reminds us of what is most important and that is okay to ask for help. Wonderful!

    7. Hmm can’t say I was all that impressed with this book as the reviews on GoodReads and led me to believe I might be. It felt like I was reading a novel composed by a creative writing student who was trying to capture every single sight, sound and smell of every moment to impress the teacher. In addition, the author tried to create a folksy image by dumbing down the vocabulary of the narrator and it didn’t ring quite true. Even a non-college educated house painter knows what a fertility speci [...]

    8. Tommy Hays perfectly describes the sense of sadness and loss--peppered with moments of joy and humor--as a man cares for his wife with Alzheimer's. By pairing this story with a second storyline about a grandson and son recovering from the death of their mother/wife, Hays reminds us that families dealing with Alzheimer's don't live in a vacuum and that life goes on. Although the plot somewhat predictable toward the end, the characters and settings rang true, making this a quick and pleasurable re [...]

    9. It is obvious (and confirmed on the back cover) that this writer has personal experience with someone with Alzheimer's. The "fictional" antics of Irene were so reminiscent of people I've known with Alzheimer's that I had to keep reminding myself I was reading fiction and not a memoir. He also knows a bit about how young boys behave with flashlights - on the spot. A very enjoyable story with as happy an ending as can be.

    10. “The Pleasure was Mine” tells the story of retired house painter Prate Marshbanks whose wife of fifty years, Irene, is slowly succumbing to the effects of Alzheimer’s. He has made the difficult decision to place Irene in an assisted living facility, and he’s dealing with the constant worry of whether she’s being properly looked after and guilt over leaving her in a home.His son Newell, a well-respected artist, calls Prate with the news that he’s been invited to be artist-in-residence [...]

    11. The Pleasure Was Mine is a quiet book. The foothills of North Carolina are not fast-paced, and the people are hard-working, tax-paying folk. While you're reading The Pleasure Was Mine, you realize that it's easy to read Hays's crisp, clear descriptions, his incredibly audible dialogue. It's easy to laugh and cry with his characters. There's no pretension here, this isn't a book about showing off a particularly quirky writing style, not about making a statement, not about introducing a new trick [...]

    12. A little too predictable but if you are looking for a good book to read right before bed, or in the waiting room at your doctor's office, this is perfect. It is a book of an older couple, Prate and Irene; Irene has Alzheimer's and Prate has just made the decision to put her in a home, where he visits everyday, even when it becomes clear that Irene doesn't remember him much of the time. It is about this time when their son, Newell, needs to go on a retreat of some sorts and asks his father to wat [...]

    13. This book was our One City, One Book selection this year. This was an engaging read. The story deals with a family coping with the early stages of Alzheimer's. At first I thought I would have to abandon it because I don't like bad news and sadness. But, the story is more about family and discovering love than about disease. One important tidbit was that the mother (the Alzheimer's patient) had always been so warm and nurturing that she had unintentionally blocked the evolution of relationships a [...]

    14. I started this book today and am reading it for the Alamance Reads program. Every 2 years our county libraries host a book that the entire county is encouraged to read. Kick off lecture and ceremonies start on January 18th. We enjoyed the last book the county picked and enjoy participating in the events and activities hosted by all the different county libraries.Absolutely fabulous Book! The story is so sad and sweet. It makes me want to take more time with the people and things that are most im [...]

    15. This was the 2008 GSO One City One Book pick but somehow I missed it. So I am reading it now OK I finished it. The first 3/4ths were really pretty predictable and I did keep putting it down, but it was an easy enough read I figured I'd finish it. The last bit of the book left me holding back sobs from worry and joy. I can see why it would be selected as a book group type read. It is a enlightening look at Alzheimer's and families who are loving their way through it. I'd recommend it to someone w [...]

    16. Excellent, touching book by a North Carolina author. Prate Marshbanks, a housepainter, must deal with his beloved wife's struggle with Alzheimer's. After being forced to place her in a nursing home, Prate must build a new relationship with his distant son and grandson now that his wife is not there to run interference for them. They eventually develop a new closeness that helps them heal and move on together in their "new normal."

    17. A simple, lovely story about a man whose wife suffers from alzheimers, and about family reconciliation and appreciation. A very enjoyable read. I would give it a 3.5 but the stars don't allow me to do it. I think the low rating might have to do with the predictability of the story. I enjoyed the references to the mountains in South Carolina and North Carolina's always fun to recognize the names of towns and highways and other descriptions.

    18. Prate Marshall retires to care for his ailing wife (Alzheimers) both at home and eventually in a nursing home. "to complicate things, Prate's son, Newell, a recently widowed single father asks Prate to keep 9 year old Jackson for the summer.Though Prate is irritated at first by the presence of his mody grandson, over the summer his feeling toward Jackso change as his grandson helps him Irene. Prate has little choice but to get to know his family

    19. I started 'reading' this book with dick estell on radio reader. i was content to listen to it in 30 minute segments until it was a friday and mr. estell left me with a huge cliff hanger. i went right in and bought the book and read it cover to cover that weekend. i started at the beginning to read it aloud to my husband while we were in the car on a road trip. this book was so amazing i could hardly put it down. great book for anyone who needs (or wants) a good cry. ;)

    20. Just read this again.ur years later. These two characters could be my parents. Especially Prate. I can almost see some of the words he says coming out of my Dad's mouth. I read it in 3 hours. If you have a relative with Alzheimer's this book will make you smile, laugh and cry all at the same time.

    21. I will be mentioning this book in the memoir I'm working on about my family. Alzheimer's Disease can be so devastating and it effects family and friends as well. The Pleasure Was Mine reminded me of my grandmother, what it was like to care for her, etc. Tommy Hays breaks your heart gently, but sends your emotions to great heights as well.

    22. A very touching book, I saw this very thing firsthand with my grandma and grandpa so it felt close to home. So easy to read, I made it through the first 180 pages in a couple hours one night after dinner, and finished it the next morning. I left it on a waiting room table at an appointment this morning, so I hope the next person who picks it up enjoys it just as much as I did.

    23. A wonderful book dealing with the subject of Alzheimers and how it affects family and friends. I was afraid this book was going to be dark and depressing but it isn't. It deals with this horrible disease in a warm and loving way without sugarcoating the problems that come up in dealing with a loved one who has it. This book is the community wide read for Alamance county for 2011.

    24. You would think the story of a man with a wife with Alzheimers would be totally depressing. However, Hays droll sense of humor saves this tale from being a real downer. He portrays his wife, Irene as a lively character who continues to surprise everyone around her even as she loses ground to Alzheimers.However, it kind of ended right in the middle-no real ending.

    25. Anyone who is in love and planning to stay that way needs to read this book to prepare one's heart for the aches and heartbreaks and subtleties of old age. There's a trout-fishing theme here as well. The whole story reads like a fresh mountain stream that burbles, rushes, and falls into deep pools in all the right places. This is a wise and tender-hearted book.

    26. What a wonderful story about life and love without any of the cloying sentimentality we have come to expect from stories of people taking care of loved ones with failing health. This is a story of Prate coping with life and the unexpected wrinkles thrown at him. I couldn't put this book down. This is the book I have been wanting to read for a long time.

    27. I really enjoyed this book about a crusty old man coping with his wife's Alzheimer's, his future and his past. It was sometimes sad but often amusing and occasionally edifying. While it doesn't rise to the level of some of my five-star reads, it has charm and I have no problem recommending it as a good read, if not a great one.

    28. For the first few chapters, I feared that the book would be depressing and sad the whole way through. It ended up being a sweet story of love and the importance of companionship and family. I enjoyed the affection between the three generations of men. As someone who works in long term care, I appreciated the author mentioning that most of the people in that work are gentle and kind.

    29. The pleasure was truly mine! This is my kind of book: believable main characters, all about family loyalty, and wonderful description of the settings. Often I just want a good story, not a lot of mystery and intrigue.

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