My selection today is a relatively new-to-me book: Inheriting Edith, by Zoe Fishman, 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.
Intro: A beach house, thought Maggie, her head spinning like the revolving glass door that deposited her back onto Eighteenth Street. People headed home after work bumped and jostled along the sidewalk as she slipped in unsteadily.
“A house in Sag Harbor.” Just the words Sag Harbor conjured up images of the kind of life she had never known. Sand dunes and waves; sea grass and farmers’ markets; rich women with their sun-kissed faces stretched tight like rubber bands.
Teaser: Edith surveyed herself in the mirror. She was wearing the dress from her shopping excursion with Maggie. She looked elegant, she thought.
She slipped her feet into her shoes—a pair of gold flats that Maggie had insisted she purchase as well—and smiled. She hadn’t felt this fancy in years—decades, maybe. It felt nice. (50%).
(I had to excerpt just a little more to complete the picture).
Synopsis: 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.
I think this book sounds delightful. What do you think? Would you keep reading?