Literary Marie ~ Reader, Reviewer, Copyeditor & Migraineur ~ Literary Chick That Cannot Function Without Fiction
♥Precision Revision: book reviews, recommendations, lit tidbits, copyediting, bookish memes and reading challenges.
♠Blogmoir: a memoir in blog format of events and people in this fuckery called life.
Family secrets. A grandmother's detailed life. An impressionable granddaughter. Guilt. Fraud. Illness. Bird houses. Why, oh why, did I wait so long to read this? This is the perfect example of what happens when a very good book gets overlooked in the forever-growing TBR pile. Glad I finally pulled this hidden treasure from the pile and cracked it open.
Within the first chapter readers discover the main character, Ann Biddle, has a failing memory. She's slipping into dementia. Immediately, I was on the defensive. Could I trust Ann? Am I reading the truth, or just what she thinks is a memory? Then we're introduced to Ellie, her curious eight-year-old granddaughter. Ellie has a school project and enlists the help of her grandmother. She has to research the family's history, pick a theme (hence the title), and recreate it. Together they uncover past and present family secrets, the mysterious death of Ann's young daughter, go-through-the-motions marriages, and learning about breast cancer.
The narrative is smooth with memories told in the form of Ann's diary entries. The memories appear sharp, despite the narrator's mental state. It's beautifully written and will make a great selection for a book club (Readers Club Guide included), women's group, or solo on a gentle breeze day.