Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Rules of Inheritance

I was able to read The Rules of Inheritance, a memoir by Claire Bidwell Smith, as a part of BlogHer's Book Club. Bidwell Smith's parents are both diagnosed with cancer at the age of 14, and the book follows her as she struggles through the different stages of grief.

At first it took me a while to enjoy the fact that the book was not written in chronological order, rather it is broken into sections that seem to mirror each other at different stages of her life. For example, at one moment she is writing to you about when she was 18 and the next she is talking about her middle twenties. I cannot think of another way that this book could have been written, I feel that it had to in this manner to totally convey the message. You had to understand what it was like for her at each age and stage of her life. It was also obvious that you could see how each decision would influence the next stage of her life.

I often had to remind myself that this was a work of nonfiction and that all of these events actually happened. The book is very honest and at moments, totally and completely raw. When you're reading it you can almost see yourself sitting with Claire and listening to her tell you these stories.

I most related to Bidwell Smith when she was discussing the toxic relationship she was in during her early 20's. Often when reading about this relationship I found myself nodding and thinking "Oh I've been there" or "Yup, that's what it felt like".

In my opinion, this is a must read. Even if you haven't dealt with the kind of grief she has, you will find something to relate to in her story. If anything, this book will teach you to cherish the moments you have with the ones you love, and to appreciate the times you could just call them for whatever silly question you had.

Be sure to head over to BlogHer to see more of the discussions on The Rules of Inheritance, and join in the discussions!

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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