This was a paid review for the BlogHer Book Club but all opinions expressed are my own.
If this is to be part of my narrative, I want to feel every minute of it.The Rules of Inheritance, by Claire Bidwell Smith, is worth every last bit of heartache you feel while reading it. It is an auto-biographical story about the author's struggle coming to terms with the loss of each of her parents to cancer, an orphan before she turns thirty. While the book jumps around in time, each section is focused on a stage in the grieving process, until it ends with a chapter on acceptance.
You are immediately drawn to Claire and all of her imperfections- her attraction to the "wrong" boys, her binge drinking, her apathy towards focus in life. She is a product of the environment of loss she grew up with starting in high school, and each out of control behaviour is a defense mechanism against feeling the true pain of loss and solitude. I swear, each tale from her life leaves you heartbroken for the girl who had to go through the most difficult years of her life alone, or darned close to it.
While it could have been confusing, the skipping time lines really did work, and added an almost cliffhanger-like quality, leaving you desperate to keep reading to finish each storyline.
For all that I disliked the previous BlogHer Book Club selection, I loved this one tremendously.
Seriously- read it. You will NOT regret it.
(It also had a scene in an LA restaurant I frequented when I lived there and still do when I visit, C&O Trattoria- like Claire says, the garlic knots are ridiculous!)
(also, anyone want my copy of The Weird Sisters? First one to comment gets it.)