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Book Review - Inheriting Edith: A Novel

l read somewhere, maybe on, that this story was a tragicomedy. That seemed an unusual concept to me but the story idea was intriguing. Inheriting Edith about a cleaning lady who inherits not only the mansion of a wealthy client but also the client’s mother - an eighty-two year old who has early onset Alzheimer’s and who can only get worse. Leading us to the perfect title for this novel.

The cleaning lady, Maggie, it turns out, is college educated who found that her desk job paid far less than cleaning mansions. She took the odd looks in stride that were often meted out when she told people what she did for a living. It paid her bills so what else was she going to do anyway. This particular client, Liza, had been around her age and over time they had become friends despite the employer/employee relationship. A rift develops in their relationship when Maggie discovers her friend has stolen something from her.

As you can imagine, Edith, Liza’s mother, is not at all pleased about being handed over like chattel and is still reeling from the death of her daughter. She is not about to make Maggie’s life easy. Despite all of that Maggie moves in and they learn to live with each other, eventually liking one another, and the company the forced relationship offers.

The story moves along at a reasonable pace sprinkled with situations that make you smile leaving you with an overall ‘feel good’ feeling. Author Zoe Fishman writes simply and I found the story very easy to read. But something was missing. I’ve not been able to put my finger on it except to say that the book didn’t move me at all. Yes, some of the events are tragic, and yes I smiled every so often, but overall, blah.

I wouldn’t recommend this book unless you have a free afternoon and just need something, anything, to read! Just in case, here's the link.

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