About the book
Jean and Gordon Hay were a formidable pair. She was a late-blooming artist and superlatively frugal; he was a proud and ambitious schoolteacher with a terrifying temper. As old age collides with the tragedy of living too long, this once ferociously independent pair become increasingly dependent on Lizzie, the so-called difficult child. Their lives change utterly and so does hers.
Philip Roth once said, "Old age is a massacre." All Things Consoled takes you inside the massacre.
In this brave memoir, written with tough-minded candour, tenderness, and wit, Elizabeth Hay offers insight into the exquisite agony of a family's dynamics — entrenched favouritism, sibling rivalries, grievances that last for decades, genuine admiration and deep love. In the end she reaches a more complete understanding of the most unforgettable characters she will ever know, the vivid giants in her life who were her parents.