Faced with the loss of her mother, Suzy, to cancer at sixty, Wall Street Journal reporter Katherine Rosman longs to find answers to the questions that we all wrestle with after losing someone we love. So she does what she does best: she opens her notebook and starts investigating.
Thumbing through her late mother's address book, Rosman begins to discover a woman whose life was intricately connected to a host of characters her daughter hardly knew. Her reporting skills at the ready, she embarks on a cross-country odyssey, tracking down total strangers from whom she hopes to learn about a woman she once thought she couldn't know better. Venturing into the heart of some colorful communities, Rosman interviews friends and acquaintances of her mother's, as well as people whose relationships with her were more complex though no less potent—among them a former golf caddie, a legendary Pilates instructor, an eBay glass collector, and an immigrant doctor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. As Rosman attempts to fill in the blank spaces that may explain her mother's motivations and philosophies in building a life and in facing death, she comes to understand this woman as she never imagined she could.
Blending humor, honesty, and old-fashioned reporting, Rosman grapples with the bittersweet reality that sometimes we can't truly know someone until after she is gone. At once comforting, candid, and very funny, If You Knew Suzy is a heartfelt memoir against which readers can consider themselves and the lives of all those they love.