They Left Us Everything
# UL6832 Hardcover, 288 pages; 2016
I describe Mum as a "life force" who valued every second of her life with insatiable curiosity and boundless enthusiasm...and I tell the story about the day a vacuum cleaner salesman had the misfortune to ring Mum's bell, offering to demonstrate his machine, just as the dog was throwing up on her blue shag carpet.
Full of warmth and humor, Plum Johnson's memoir about cleaning out her (enormous and jam-packed) childhood home after her ninetythree-year-old mother passed away delivers a powerful emotional punch. Every object - as well as the grand lakeside house itself - triggers memories of the engaging family's joys and pains, and sparks contemplation of complex relationships, especially between mother and daughter. An entertaining and inspiring read, They Left Us Everything makes a compelling case for the profound healing value of preserving family history. (CH)