Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review: Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman

Maggie is a house cleaner in Manhattan and single mom to a demanding toddler. She's just fine with her life when she finds out that a former client, one time friend, and bestselling author with whom she had a falling out has committed suicide and left her beautiful home in Sag Harbor to Maggie. The house comes with a stipend and everything Maggie needs to live there with two-year old Lucy. It also comes with Edith, Liza's octogenarian mother who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Mothering a toddler is hard; add in caretaking for a prickly Alzheimer's patient grieving the death of her larger than life, beloved daughter and nothing about this bequest will be easy, especially as the irascible Edith is displeased with the whole set-up. This unlikely trio have to come to detente in order to live together peacefully. When Edith falls and she is even physically reliant on Maggie, detente slowly grows into a genuinely caring familial relationship. Maggie offers to write down Edith's quickly slipping away memories, and revives her own long-shelved interest in writing in the process. More than just reliving memories, both Maggie and Edith look closely at the secrets they've buried, the past hurts they've brushed under the rug, and make the difficult decision to allow the truth to come out so they can live with no regrets. Both Maggie and Edith have to learn about forgiveness and acceptance, which they'll do together.

The premise of the novel, inheriting a failing parent, is an intriguing one for sure and the concept of then creating a manufactured family is very well handled. It is a sweet, feel-good novel even though it touches on quite heavy themes: depression, death, abandonment, and Alzheimer's. Both Maggie and Edith are grappling with lives that have taken unexpected turns but the novel doesn't belabor what could be a much bleaker situation. Esther, Edith's best friend, is a pip and a delight. Lucy, Maggie's two year old daughter, is definitely in the throes of terrible two-hood and she is surprisingly verbal for a child her age. Sometimes her tantrums overwhelm the rest of the story but that does serve to show how difficult it is for Maggie as a part of the sandwich generation (no matter that Edith is not her own aging parent). The story line with the kindly Sam as a potential love interest for Maggie doesn't really come to fruition and stalls the tale out a bit. Although it is Liza's suicide, and therefore her absence, that sets the story in motion, more of her big personality would have been a nice addition to either Maggie or Edith's reminiscences. Inheriting Edith is over all an easy and enjoyable read, a heartwarming look at caring, love, forgiveness, and building a family even in the wake of terrible loss.

For more information about Zoe Fishman and the book, check out her website, like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter. Also, check out the book's Good Reads page, follow the rest of the blog tour, or look at the amazon reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book.

Thanks to Trish from TLC Book Tours and the HarperCollins for sending me a copy of this book to review.


  1. This sounds such a heart-warming novel! I'm definitely going to read it!

    Aeriko @ The Reading Armchair

  2. Esther sounds like quite a character! I like having friends like her in real life. :)

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!


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