Tom Whiffen

“I think the Title should have been “Me and Nana” – The book was about 80% of your personal relationship with your grandmother, which was perfectly fine except when I first saw the title… I thought it was going to be about Anne Gillis and her relationship to everyone. Obviously, I realize YOU wrote the book so that is the voice the book would be in. But, I think your legacy to her is you have “memorialized” what she meant to you… not what Anne Gillis meant to the world.

It seemed all through the book…you were just too good of a grandson! I went through a similar situation with my grandmother when my mother died. I was the legal guardian and the only family member who took care of her. As much as I loved being with her…there were times I felt burdened by having to “take care” of her…and I was only there 3-4 times a week and for only 2 years! It seemed as though you must have had a negative feeling or two somewhere along the way…I was waiting for that moment when you “opened up” and let us all know you were human when it came to your dedication to her.

When reading about Nana’s death… I had a real hard time… You captured the moment and put us all in your shoes where I was truly hurting for you. It brought back a flood of memories of my mother and grandmother and my being there at the end.

The honesty of what your grandmother was really like. Not the apple pie and cheek squeezing type, but the hard working, Scarlet Letter wearing and straight shooting matriarch. That was refreshing (although depressing at times.) I think most people would have glossed over the faults.

The fact that you actually published a book really impresses me…I have wanted to write a book for years and have written miles of pages to no avail. It is so much harder than it sounds. You are able to say that you wrote and published a book and that is truly impressive. It also means alot to me to say I am good friends with a published author. : )

Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who knows you or is dealing with an elderly loved one.

That’s about it from me… Congratulations again!


P.S. We spent over an hour of book club discussing your book and maybe 20 minutes discussing the Agatha Christie book. Good, heartfelt criticism was shared and an overall consensus where everyone was glad they read the book. ”

— Tom Whiffen, former president Foxboro Jaycees (and very active member of the Jaycees) on his impressions after the Jaycee Book Club meeting to discuss reading “Nana”