July 17, 2011 A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents by Liza Palmer
The only good thing about going to the laundromat on beautiful, sunny Sunday is that I can read about half a novel in the time it takes to wash and dry two loads of clothes and sheets. I came home after grocery shopping and burned through the rest of the book in a couple of hours. It's a quick read, but powerful nonetheless.

It was hard for me to relate to the main character as we got to know her in the midst of a family crisis. But as we get into the meat of the story, well, I don't know her, but I recognize her fear, her desperation, her anxiety. Unfortunately, thinking about wills, powers of attorney and interloping "family" members are all too real problems and I think every family has to deal with them, even if you weren't abandoned 22 years ago.

Though the characters and plot line may not be the best, the writing is solid and evocative. I definitely teared up as the book drew to a close. Thinking about my parents' mortality (see, I can't say it either) is something I may joke about with them, but face with the real thing, I think I probably understand how the characters end up where they are. I can only hope I have the same support that Grace ends up with. Trying situations really do bring out the true colors.

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