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Inheriting Edith: A Novel

Автор Zoe Fishman

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В настоящее время недоступен на Scribd

Inheriting Edith: A Novel

Автор Zoe Fishman

оценки:
4/5 (64 оценки)
Длина:
294 страницы
4 часа
Издатель:
Издано:
Oct 18, 2016
ISBN:
9780062378750
Формат:

Описание

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.

Издатель:
Издано:
Oct 18, 2016
ISBN:
9780062378750
Формат:

Об авторе

Zoe Fishman is the bestselling author of Inheriting Edith, Driving Lessons, Saving Ruth and Balancing Acts. She’s the recipient of myriad awards, including a NY Post Pick. She’s been profiled in Publisher’s Weekly and The Huffington Post among others. Her writing has been published in The Atlanta Journal Constitution as part of their moving “Personal Journey” series. Zoe worked in the New York publishing industry for thirteen years. She was recently the Visiting Writer at SCAD Atlanta and currently teaches at Emory Continuing Education and The Decatur Writers Studio, at which she is also the Executive Director. She lives in Decatur with her family.


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4.2
64 оценки / 28 Обзоры
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Отзывы читателей

  • (3/5)
    An easy beach read. Maggie Sheets is a 38-year-old single mother of a two-year-old. College educated, she quickly learns that she can earn more money housecleaning (which she enjoys doing) for the wealthy in New York City. She becomes friends with a lesbian bipolar author, Liza Brennan, but falls out with her when Liza steals her short story character for a successful novel.Later, Liza commits suicide, and leaves her beach house in Sag Harbor to Maggie. There's just one catch - Liza's 82-year-old widowed mother with Alzheimer's, Edith, comes with it.The plot is pretty predictable, but as I said, it's a quick and easy read. Edith's friend Esther is a bit over the top. I would have liked less of her and of Maggie's daughter Lucy, who is far too talkative for a two-year-old and in the book too much. Instead, learning a little more about Liza, and finding out what happens with Lucy's father and with Maggie's father (from whom she is estranged, but beginning to forgive by the end of the book), would have been far more interesting.Not a waste of time, but not a book I would read again.
  • (4/5)
    Unique concept. A college single Mom turned cleaning lady, inherits a house from a deceased ex-client, with one catch. The house comes with the client's mother, who has Alzheimer's. So, Maggie moves in with her daughter and the three stumble along in this unusual relationship.
  • (4/5)
    All through the book I waited for there to be some tidy resolutions to the challenges the characters faced. But the author gently brushes past those in a way that makes this novel feel very real. There is the suicide of a beloved daughter - but there is no definitive explanation for her actions. There is the progressive disease that Edith faces with no magical drug, just increasing confusion. There is single mom, Maggie, who meets a very nice man but somehow it isn't quite right. There is the reunion with a son given up for adoption, but at a time too late to see her children together and to forge those relationships. Instead, Maggie, as the main character, comes to terms with the idea that imperfection is ok. It's a lovely message at the end.
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed this book, but wish it could have gone deeper. Some of the stories I felt were left open ended. Maybe there will be a sequel? I have read other books by this author that I have liked a little bit more. Good beach read. Nice characters. A little incomplete.
  • (4/5)
    Maggie is a highly educated house cleaner who is left a Sag Harbor house when one of her previous employers commits suicide. The catch, the house comes with Edith, the aging mother who has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I enjoyed reading this book, it was much better than my explanation!
  • (4/5)
    Maggie Sheets is a college degreed housekeeper with an adorable little girl she is raising on her own. Her life takes a sudden and unexpected turn when she inherits a house in Sag Harbor along with an unusual occupant.A story about Alzheimer's and suicide, but not sad or depressing. Maggie, Edith, and Lucy are great characters....I enjoyed reading about their journey.
  • (4/5)
    Inheriting Edith is Zoe Fishman's latest book.Maggie is a single mom who has been working as a house cleaner. One of her clients is a well known author, who treats her well. But when Liza kills herself, Maggie is stunned to find out that she has been left a house in Sag Harbor - complete with the author's eighty year old mother Edith - who has Alzheimer's.This reader was immediately engaged with Fishman's characters. I think each reader will have a favorite character, based on their stage of life. Maggie is a pull no punches woman, struggling to do her best by her little daughter, who has a voice in the story as well. (Some of her dialogue is a bit advanced for the age of the child, but out of the mouth of babes...) Edith is the character who spoke to me the most. Her struggle with memory, everyday living and putting the past right struck close to home for me. I thought Fishman did a great job portraying the everyday issues that come with Alzheimer's - from both Edith and Maggie's viewpoint. I did find Edith's friend Lillian a bit overdrawn and over the top.There aren't a lot of surprises in Inheriting Edith - this type of story has been written before. But Fishman's premise was unique and I found her exploration of motherhood, friendship, grief, aging, illness, self discovery and yes, love, to be thoughtful. I think book clubs would enjoy this novel.If you're in the mood for a heart string tugging tale, consider Inheriting Edith.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. A single mother who cleans houses for a living, ends up with a wonderful house left to her by a former client, but also the woman's mother who has Alzheimers. Yes, we can figure out life lessons, but the writing was good and the characters were well done. Turns out I have read a few books by this author and I'll make sure I didn't miss any.
  • (3/5)
    Maggie and Edith are an unlikely pair. Maggie is the cleaning lady and Edith has not been particularly close to any of her 'help.' Liza was Maggie's friend and Edith's daughter and she left a gorgeous house in Sag Harbor and Edith to Maggie in her will. How can you inherit an elderly woman? Well that was just a part of the package - the house and Edith. You see, Edith was aging and had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.Maggie had a decision to make.It was actually an easy decision - carrying out the decision was not quite so easy. Edith did not believe she needed to be taken care of by a gold-digger cleaning lady!That is the simple premise of this story. From the beginning you know that they will figure it out. That's a given - and actually a comfort. You want Maggie and Edith to create a family.The unexpected part is Edith's own story. As her short term memory fades her past becomes more and more real. And in a brilliant moment she decides to ask Maggie to write down those memories. Stories of a dancer's life in NYC and the beauty and difficulties she hid to achieve.This is a story of mothers and daughters and the secrets that keep them apart and draw them together. It's a story of the horror of Alzheimer's and the depth of friendship. It's about making a new family from the friends you surround yourself with.I enjoyed this one! It was a great beach read - Costa Rica book #2
  • (3/5)
    Maggie inherits a house in Sag Harbor NY from an old friend/client as well her benefactor's 82 year old mother, who is suffering from early stage Alzheimers. Maggie and her 2 year old daughter, move to Sag Harbor and begin their new life. Along the way, the create a family unit with Edith, Edith's best friend and a potential love interest. Inheriting Edith is a light hearted story that doesn't require a great deal from the reader. The author fleshed out Edith very well but Maggie is a bit flat and one dimensional. Reading a story about a strong woman slowly losing her memory is not easy but all of the other plot points seem a flat. One of my biggest pet peeves is when the author names characters that start with the same letter: Liza (the benefactor), Lucy (the 2 year old daughter) and Lyle (the ex love interest) and Edith and Esther (her best friend.) There are 24 other letters in the alphabet available for usage!Inheriting Edith is a beach read - you are engaged when you read it, can put it down easily and not worry that you missed much (except who all of the L named characters are).
  • (4/5)
    Who would pass up a chance to get out of a minimum wage job as a housekeeper and live in Sag Harbor with your toddler daughter? This is what Maggie thought after her former employer left her the house in her will. It comes with a catch though and that is Maggie must care for Liza's elderly mother who has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Maggie goes for it and braves Edith's frosty welcome. It is a journey of self-discovery for both of them as they learn more about each other and their tentative relationship with the diseased Liza. This is a novel filled with rich characters, forgiveness and learning what is really important in life. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
  • (3/5)
    Maggie is a single mother raising her 2 year old daughter. She cleans houses for a living. She cleans the house of a writer and they become friends before having a falling out. Years later the writer is dead and leaves her house in Sag Harbor to Maggie with a catch. Maggie has to take care of Liza's mother who is in the early stages of Alzheimer. The story had ups and downs but I have to say that the little girl got on my nerves and takes up a lot of the story. Just an okay read for me.
  • (5/5)
    Maggie, house cleaner by day and single mom to a toddler by night, receives the most unexpected news. One of the people she used to clean house for and also became friends with has died..... and left her the beach house and her 82 year old mom who has Alzheimer's. As Maggie gets used to her new home with her daughter Lucy, she is also having to get used to being a caregiver to Edith. What starts as a contemptuous relationship, becomes something none of them had expected... a family. This was a very enjoyable book, that leaves you with a good feeling.
  • (3/5)
    A bit too light for me, as other reviewers categorized it, it is a beach read. Some tough subjects (Alzheimer's, depression, suicide) are treated a bit too lightly for me. As a caregiver for a mother with dementia, I was drawn to the premise of this novel, but it was too frothy and light for my taste.
  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    Excellent story and writing. A most enjoyable read with likeable characters, believable life situations and a complete story line. I highly recommend this novel and will buy it for my friends who read. Would have been a good beach read..
  • (5/5)
    Great writing of an everyday societal situation . I recommend it
  • (4/5)
    I started reading this book while getting a tattoo because it looked vaguely interesting, I'm not usually into these sorts of books. It turns out I quite loved it, there's a melancholy sweetness to the lives in this book and I'm interesting in reading more of Fishman's work.
  • (4/5)
    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 afternoon and it kept me interested enough to want to keep reading.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. The characters are real and so is their story, their struggles and fears. Oh to be lucky enough to have friends like Edith and Esther in your life. Maggie is helped as much as she is there to be a help. I would love a follow up about how Lucy grows up under the influence of these two women, both so young of heart. Well done to the author, this book was like a glass of cool water on a hot summer's day.
  • (2/5)
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  • (5/5)
    This book makes you kind of want to do all "the looking back to your past and resolving your unsolved issues" in order for you to move ahead with more clarity and lighter hearts to forge your memories for the futures. This book manage to be an easy read despite the quite heavy issues its tackling with single parenting, aging, losing one's memories, parenthood and forgiveness.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Good read. Some interesting issues. Sort of left the reader hanging. Feels like there should be a sequel

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    Maggie inherits a house from a former friend, but it comes with a price: she must also take care of her friend’s elderly mother who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. So Maggie finds herself caring for her own rambunctious two-year-old and a cantankerous eighty-two year old, a virtual stranger. The author does a very good job of bringing these characters to life as they deal with numerous problems. The everyday stress of being a single mom is compounded by the stress of health issues of the elderly. Add in some past secrets in the lives of both these women, and you a recipe for a thought-provoking as well as entertaining read.
  • (4/5)
    Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman is a highly recommended endearing story.Maggie Sheets is surprised to learn that she has inherited a house in Sag Habor, NY from her friend, author Liza Brennan, especially since the two hadn't been in touch for the last four years. Liza committed suicide, so she must have had a plan in mind before ending her own life. As a single mother to two-year-old Lucy, the house along with a financial inheritance, is a blessing. She can quit cleaning houses for a living and concentrate on raising her daughter. There is one catch, however. Along with the house comes Liza’s 82-year-old mother, Edith.Edith didn't like Maggie when they meet years earlier and time hasn't likely improved her opinion. Edith is also in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. If Maggie accepts the bequest, she is going to have to deal with the increasing symptoms of Edith's deteriorating condition while trying to raise her daughter. Why did Liza choose her for this position? It soon becomes clear that Maggie has her hands full with her toddler and Edith."Edith, you're in trouble. I'm here because, for God knows what reason, Liza wanted me to take care of you. It was her wish. I'm here to carry it out, come hell or high water.""Well, it's not like you're not being paid handsomely for it," Edith retorted. "A house, a pile of money, a car - I'd say you won the damn lottery.""If this is winning the lottery, I'm selling my ticket back. You, Edith, are no prize."The unusual situation results in Maggie and Edith confronting both choices and the resulting consequences in their lives. It also seems that Liza may have known what she was doing when she chose Maggie, however obliquely, for the task of caring for Edith. With a lot of help from Edith's long-time friend, Esther, the two take a prickly start and manage to forge a shaky relationship that opens them up to sharing.Telling the story through Maggie and Edith, Fishman manages to take a rather improbable situation and make it seem plausible. The novel is a fairly quick and easy book to read, and while both Alzheimer's and depression play important roles in the novel, they are not portrayed in depth or as gravely serious as they are in other novels - or in real life. It is the relationship between the characters that becomes the focus here, which Fishman develops with care and understanding. Inheriting Edith is an endearing, heartwarming story about bonds formed between people from different backgrounds once they realize the similarities of their experiences and set aside differences to work together.There were two drawbacks in Inheriting Edith for me. One was Lucy, whose constantly demanding chatter and temper tantrums became a tad bit annoying. It did highlight Maggie's exhaustion dealing with both a two-year-old and an eighty-two-year-old. Perhaps I'm becoming an old curmudgeon; nevertheless, I think I could have understood the gest of Maggie's situation with a little less toddler prattle. The second was the potential love interest for Maggie who added nothing and could have just been left out of the book.Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Harper Collins.
  • (4/5)
    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 afternoon and it kept me interested enough to want to keep reading.
  • (4/5)
    Maggie is a professional house cleaner with a degree in English. She’s had other jobs, but she prefers cleaning in Manhattan- it pays a lot better, it gives her time to think, and she has been a compulsive cleaner since she was a child. She is the single mother of a precocious two year old, and has just gotten the surprise of her life: she’s inherited the Sag Harbor beach house and money of a friend and former client that she has been estranged from for years. Along with the house comes Edith, the 82 year old mother with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The will states that Edith is to remain in the house she shared with her bestselling novelist daughter, who has taken her own life. Edith and Maggie both have severe doubts about this situation. Edith feels she needs no help, nor does she need strangers in her house. Maggie feels she’s in over her head with caring for an elder. But they gingerly build a relationship, and Edith asks Maggie to help her write down her life story before she forgets it. In the process, they both realize they have things in their pasts that they need to deal with before it’s too late. I read the story in a day; it’s fast reading and fairly compelling. It’s sad to watch Edith losing ground so quickly, but fun to learn about her past. I did have to wonder why the 2 year old took up so much of the book; obviously she’s the most important thing for Maggie, but I felt her constant chattering slowed the story down. I guess it did show how overwhelmed by the child Maggie is! The obligatory love interest might as well not be there; he really adds nothing to the story. I would have preferred to learn more about Edith’s past, and about her dead daughter. A good beach read.
  • (5/5)
    New York house cleaner Maggie Sheets has just learned that she has inherited a house in Sag Harbor from one of her famous wealthy clients. There is one little hitch, the house includes her clients’ mother Edith, who was a handful even before her Alzheimer’s started taking over. Maggie, who is a single mother of a toddler, isn’t sure she can handle Edith, and Edith isn’t sure she wants Maggie to. I loved Maggie and Edith; each resonated with me in their own way. Their stories are complicated, and Zoe Fishman writes them with humor and compassion. They discover in each others pasts a way to healing and realize how much wisdom Edith’s daughter had by leaving Maggie her house. I’m putting Inheriting Edith on my favorites list, because everyday I spent in this novel was a joy, all the characters were quirky and the only thing I didn’t like was that it ended way too soon. 5 stars.