Inheriting Edith

Inheriting Edith

by Zoe Fishman

Overview: 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.

Judy Stanton (03/15/17): Maggie Sheets is a college educated housecleaner, and erstwhile writer, who befriends a well known author and client, Liza, who has mental health issues and ultimately takes her own life. Struggling to make ends meet as a single mother, Maggie accepts an unusual offer that comes in Liza's will, to inherit her home in Sag Harbor with the proviso that she take care of Liza's mother, Edith, who is in the early stages of Alzheimers. The character development of these two carries the book, as they share their personal history and hidden secrets with each other. I enjoyed the intergenerational dynamics ...which included other characters, especially the fun and zany Esther...and liked the story development, with both Maggie and Edith growing from a strained to a comfortable, open, sharing relationship. Still, I felt this coming together was fairly predictable and I was more critical of the 2 year-old Lucy's language and behavior having a grandchild of that age. I would rate it 3.5. An easy and enjoyable read
Rating: ***+

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