I received a free copy of Inheriting Edith from TLC Book Tours for my honest review.
About the Book:
• Paperback: 320 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 18, 2016)
A poignant breakout novel, for fans of J. Courtney Sullivan and Elin Hilderbrand, about a single mother who inherits a beautiful beach house with a caveat—she must take care of the ornery elderly woman who lives in it.
For years, Maggie Sheets has been an invisible hand in the glittering homes of wealthy New York City clients, scrubbing, dusting, mopping, and doing all she can to keep her head above water as a single mother. Everything changes when a former employer dies leaving Maggie a staggering inheritance. A house in Sag Harbor. The catch? It comes with an inhabitant: The deceased’s eighty-two-year old mother Edith.
Edith has Alzheimer’s—or so the doctors tell her—but she remembers exactly how her daughter Liza could light up a room, or bring dark clouds in her wake. And now Liza’s gone, by her own hand, and Edith has been left—like a chaise or strand of pearls—to a poorly dressed young woman with a toddler in tow.
Maggie and Edith are both certain this arrangement will be an utter disaster. But as summer days wane, a tenuous bond forms, and Edith, who feels the urgency of her diagnosis, shares a secret that she’s held close for five decades, launching Maggie on a mission that might just lead them each to what they are looking for.
About the Author:
Zoe Fishman is the author of Driving Lessons, Saving Ruth, and Balancing Acts. Her books have been translated into German, Italian, Dutch and Polish. She’s the recipient of many awards, including Target’s Breakout and Emerging Author Picks, a New York Post Pick, and has been featured on NBC’s “Atlanta & Co.” as well as in Publishers Weekly and The Huffington Post. She is currently at work on her next novel, as well as teaching writing at The Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. Zoe lives in Atlanta with her husband and two sons.
I thought this sounded like another book that would take me away from my usual historical fiction reads. I was intrigued with the premise even though it wasn’t a totally new idea for a plot. The Alzheimer’s addition made it more current as that is a disease that is affecting so many families.
Maggie is barely getting by as a maid for wealthy people in New York. In the course of her work she befriended Liza, a famous author but the friendship was betrayed and they haven’t spoken in years so that is why Maggie is so surprised to find that Liza has left her a very large bequest in her will – a fully paid for house in Sag Harbor and an income. But the house does come with an inhabitant – Liza’s mother Edith who has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Edith is having a hard time dealing with her diagnosis and the fact that her daughter killed herself.
Maggie feels she has no choice but to accept because she knows it would be best for her daughter. She knows Edith doesn’t like her but there is nothing for it. The two women need to learn to get along. Edith has a best friend Esther who is a real kicker, in fact Esther is the best character in the book. As they all try to manage their new life Maggie tries to help Edith by writing down her life before she forgets everything and it leads to secrets being revealed by both Edith and Maggie which could also lead to a sort of forgiveness.
This was a quick and surprisingly light read despite the subject matter. The book covers love and loss, suicide and Alzheimer’s and single motherhood and more and yet it never falls into any really dark places. The characters are sufficiently developed but I think there is much more that could have been made known. Liza, for example is so much a part of the story and yet I never really felt like I had a handle on her. Granted she was dead but still – she is the one that put the whole story in motion. I just felt like I wanted a little bit more. But I did enjoy the book – I read it in one Sunday aftertoon and it kept me interested enough to want to keep reading.