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232. A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents by Liza Palmer...

December 22, 2009
field guide to burying your parentsAbout the book:
Grace Hawkes has not spoken to her previously tight-knit family since her mother's sudden death five years ago. Well, most of the family was tight-knit— her father walked out on them when she was 13 and she and her two brothers and sister bonded together even closer with their mother as a result.

She's been doing her best to live her new life apart from them, but when their estranged father has a stroke and summons them, Grace suddenly realizes she's done the same thing he had done...abandoned those who need her most.

And need her they do, for inside the hospital walls, a strange war is unfolding between the pseudo-kindly woman who is their father's second wife and the rest of the original Hawkes clan. Upon reconnecting with her brother and sisters, Grace will find a part of herself she thought was lost forever. As they unravel the manipulative deception of the second Mrs. Hawkes, Grace will finally be able to stand up for her family— and to remember what a family is, even after all these years.

drey's thoughts:
I wasn't sure what to think about a book titled A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents, but it piqued my interest. And it was definitely worth picking up. You'd think the subject matter would be a little morbid, but it's really a reflection on family dynamics and relationships. And how those don't change, even after years away from them.

Grace has to face the fact that she ran away from her siblings when her mother died 5 years ago. And now she's summoned to her father's bedside, because he is dying. So on top of dealing with the siblings she walked out on, she has to learn if she can reconcile her feelings towards her father, and the betrayal she still feels because he left.

As if that isn't confusing enough for Grace to deal with, she finds out her father has a wife and step-child. Who are both apparently really loving and caring. But there is more than meets the eye, and as Grace explores her own emotions and psyche where it concerns her father, she and her siblings work together to find out what the second Mrs. Hawkes' story is.

I really enjoyed A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents and recommend it for those who like family dramas and "watching" a girl grow up, taking responsibility for her own actions, and remedying the situation.

Title: A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents
Author: Liza Palmer
ISBN-10: 0446698385
ISBN-13: 9780446698382
ARC: 304 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, 2009

Challenges: 100+, Pub

Disclosure: My copy of A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents was provided by Hachette Book Group for this review.


bermudaonion said...

I'm like you - the title of this book kind of turns me off, since my parents are elderly. I'm glad to see the book isn't morbid.

Vanessa said...

Great review! This is probably not one I'll pick up, but it sounds like it's not as morbid as I thought it might be.

drey said...

Kathy~ I had the book for a while, but couldn't pick it up. My grandmother passed in mid-October, just after I received this in the mail. I'm sorry to say, I let it sit for a while because you just don't want to be reminded of how fragile life can be, y'know?

But, it's a well-written story that's not that morbid at all. Because death does happen--to all of us, eventually.

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