Liza Palmer’s third novel, A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents, is a deeply moving, complex tale of secrets, siblings and…sobbing. This isn’t the typical cotton candy that Chick Lit often takes a bad wrap for being, this is the next wave of deeper stories with wit, depth, love, drama, broad appeal and subtle pop culture references, that will stand the test of time.
It’s been five years since Grace Hawkes’ mother passed away in an accident, leaving Grace numb and alone as she
walked away from the rest of her close-knit family and put up walls around herself. She abandoned her family — much like her own father who left her and her siblings 22 years prior.
When her father has a stroke, Grace is forced to deal with the consequences and emotions that she ran away from the day of her mother’s funeral. She is folded back into the fray – into the
arms of her two brothers and sister who need her more than ever.
Life and death
This is a gripping account of the events that surround a family during heart-wrenching decisions concerning life and death and what they mean. Palmer places the reader smack dab in the middle of
sibling rivalries while trying to deal with a very stressful situation. The story shines – creating a reopening of old wounds and reconnecting with humor and old legends of sibling hijinx.
For the romantics, Grace also has to tangle with her lackluster love life when confronted by the reappearance of John, who she also suddenly left after her mom’s death. John is not only her
former flame, but also her older brother’s best friend and the lawyer representing her family. When a previously unknown stepmother contests the father’s will and threatens to tear apart the
reforming foundation of the siblings and their stricken father, John is there to help and Grace and her brothers and sister once again become a family – all while putting the pieces together of
their father’s secret life and his last wishes.
A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents shows Palmer’s command of creating believable characters who dig their way under each other’s skin and the reader’s. If you have ever lost a
loved one, this book depicts exactly how time becomes an unrelenting beast once you enter a hospital and how adults focus on tasks as a way of pushing away the inevitable breakdowns and decisions
that need to be made.
The way Grace has to tear down the walls she has spent years disappearing behind is easily relatable and will have readers cheering for her to get over herself, deal with her grief and move forward
to help her family through this fresh hurt.
Palmer deals with the gravity of the situation navigating past the imperfection of the human heart in an entertaining, refreshing and spellbinding way that will have you laughing, crying and
reading non-stop until you know how it ends.
Out of five stars, A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents receives: