A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents

( 20 )

Overview

Grace Hawkes has not spoken to her previously tight-knit family since her mother's sudden death five years ago. Well, most of the family was tight-knit— her father walked out on them when she was 13 and she and her two brothers and sister bonded together even closer with their mother as a result.

She's been doing her best to live her new life apart from them, but when their estranged father has a stroke and summons them, Grace suddenly realizes...

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A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents

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Overview

Grace Hawkes has not spoken to her previously tight-knit family since her mother's sudden death five years ago. Well, most of the family was tight-knit— her father walked out on them when she was 13 and she and her two brothers and sister bonded together even closer with their mother as a result.

She's been doing her best to live her new life apart from them, but when their estranged father has a stroke and summons them, Grace suddenly realizes she's done the same thing he had done...abandoned those who need her most.

And need her they do, for inside the hospital walls, a strange war is unfolding between the pseudo-kindly woman who is their father's second wife and the rest of the original Hawkes clan. Upon reconnecting with her brother and sisters, Grace will find a part of herself she thought was lost forever. As they unravel the manipulative deception of the second Mrs. Hawkes, Grace will finally be able to stand up for her family— and to remember what a family is, even after all these years.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Palmer (Conversations with the Fat Girl) delivers a breezy feel-good story of family bonding. After hearing about her father's stroke, smart-ass heroine Grace Hawkes prepares for the wrath of the siblings she's ignored for the five years since their mother's death. Things are a little tricky, since their dad, Ray, left the family 20 years before and was a prolific philanderer, now remarried to the unsavory Connie. Snappy sibling bickering (sometimes too much of it) takes a bit of the melodramatic edge off as oldest sibling Huston takes charge and is surprisingly given power of attorney. Connie and her adult son, Dennis, aren't happy about this, which raises suspicion among the Hawkes siblings, especially after they visit their father's house and find no trace of Connie having lived there; instead, it's a shrine to Ray's first wife and the kids. As Ray's health declines in the hospital, tensions heat up and a legal showdown looms. There aren't any surprises in the sunny resolution, but Palmer takes enough unexpected detours on the way there to keep readers engaged. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446698382
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/23/2009
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Liza Palmer lives in Pasadena, California with her dog, Poet. She has written two plays that were performed in Los Angeles, and is a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts-West. She is the author of SEEING ME NAKED (5 Spot, 2007) and CONVERSATIONS WITH THE FAT GIRL (5 Spot, 2005).

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    Enjoyed!

    A book about family...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    Okay

    While the good was well written it didnt keep my interest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2010

    eh..

    I ADORED her two previous books, but this one just did not cut it for me. It was hard to get through; The main character was so whiny and self-indulgent.

    Conversations and Seeing Me naked were brilliant in my opinion - looking forward to her next book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Love~love~love Liza!

    Another great book by Liza Palmer. I love that her characters never try to be perfect and the way she portrays the family dynamics. Suprisingly I found the book to be a kinda 'feel good' even though the title might suggest something else. My review will not include a run down of the plot but I highly suggest reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    Just read it!

    Great read! If you don't identify with the characters in this book yet, you will in one way or another eventually.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    entertaining family drama

    When Grace Hawkes was thirteen years old, her father Ray deserted her mom, her three younger siblings and her. Stunned the family rallied to support one another. Fifteen years after Ray walked out on them their mom died. After the burial, Grace left behind the family not talking to anyone for the past five years.

    Ray suffers a stroke and asks his three adult children to visit him. His illness provides Grace with an epiphany that she emulated the worst thing her dad did to the family. She expects nasty treatment for abandoning them, but vows to make it up as much as she can. Ray's second wife Connie welcomes Grace, but she suspects her stepmother of duplicity. Shocking everyone, Ray gives power of attorney to Grace; even more stunning to Ray's offspring is there no evidence that Connie lived in his house. Instead the home is a shrine to his first family. Encouraged by her adult son Dennis, Connie considers suing the four Hawkes.

    This is an entertaining family drama that focuses mostly on Grace's relationship with her late mom, her dad and her siblings. Her grief when her mom died drove her away as every person mourns a loss of a loved one differently even as each goes through the general grief phases. Although the ending is too rosy for the complicated poignant character driven story line, fans will enjoy Liza Palmer's on the spot Field Guide to Burying Your Parents.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted December 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Title Says It All!

    It really isn't shocking news, though. Most of us know that we will eventually have to bury our parents. Liza Palmer's new book, A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents is about Grace Hawkes & her siblings doing just that.

    A Field Guide To Burying Your Parents was actually pretty good. Even though the book is obviously centers around aging parents, it has some pretty heartwarming parts. Reading about the reunion between Grace and her siblings and watching their bond strengthen as they battled the Witch was pretty cool.

    The book was a fast read. Well written with engaging characters. There are a few hanky-needed moments, but for the most part the story of family unity will warm your heart. Not a bad Chick Lit book for those of you who enjoy the genre.

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  • Posted December 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A field guide to burying your parents by Liza Palmer

    This is a fast paced, great read. I couldn't stop reading since I had to know what happens next. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a quick fast read and look forward to read more by this author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted July 19, 2010

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