They Left us Everything by Plum Johnson (79)

This is a wonderful book!  It is a memoir that is as honest as it is riveting. And given that she will be at our Writer’s Festival here in Stratford this weekend, it was definitely an author I wanted to read.

After almost twenty years of helping to care for her elderly parents, author P)Plum Johnson finally falls to her knees with feelings of grief and relief when they die.

Now she and her three brother must empty and sell the beloved family home. It hasn’t been de-cluttered in more than half a century. Twenty-three rooms bulge with kitsch, antiques, and oxygen tanks. The task consumer her, becoming more rewarding than she could have imagined.

As Johnson sorts through the household, items from childhood trigger memories of her eccentric family growing up in a small town on the shares of Lake Ontario in the 1950s and 60s.

Her difficult parents could not have been more different. Her father was a disciplined, reserved British patriarch and her mother an extroverted, opinionated Southern belle.

The surprising discoveries she makes gradually instill a more accepting perspective about who her mother and father were and what she inherited. Johnson realizes that much of the emotional baggage was hers, and what her parents left behind was love.

By turns humorous and touching, this book is an unforgettable memoir about family, love, loss and legacies.

I loved this book because I can so relate to it because both my husband and I just recently had to clear out my mother-in-law’s home. She also lived in her home for over 60 years and it was not de-cluttered in many decades, if at all. It was a time of many conflicting emotions and especially extreme fatigue and grief.

I look forward to seeing Plum Johnson at our Writer’s Conference.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth


About irenesroth

I am a freelance and academic writer. I am currently writing a book called `Fearless Freelance Writers`. Please look out for it soon on this blog.
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