I absolutely adored Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith. ADORED IT. It is a memoir of her life as an only child, living through both of her parents being diagnosed with cancer within of few weeks of each other in her early teens. Her mother loses her battle during Claire’s freshman year of college and her father loses his when she is in her early 20’s. The story is written on a non-linear timeline, so you never know what part of her life she will jump to next. It goes back and forth between childhood, college, each parents illnesses and death, her life after their deaths, and how she became the woman she is today. The jumping around sounds as if it would be hard to follow, but it actually allowed the flow of her story to make much more since. Starting at the begging, jumping to the end, then setting the pieces of her life in a line where they are more understandable. It much have been incredibly difficult to piece together in this way, but it created a beautiful story of her life.
The story of how she becomes the woman she is today is captivating and beautifully written. I found myself relating to her, even though we have very little in common. I thought so often of Henry when she spoke of being an only child. As she wrote of her father and his experiences in World War II, I thought constantly of my grandfather who passed away nearly six years ago. I cried through that entire section of the book. As she writes about finding herself in college after the death of her mother, I found myself comparing her journey to my own. So different, and yet constantly relatable.
She writes of her life and her loves, and she does so in a way that makes you feel like you understand her. That you truly know her, or at least that leaves you wanting to know her better. As soon as I was done reading I went to Claire Smith’s blog. I wanted to see her parents, see her life. There was something about this memoir that made me want to keep reading. And that is the mark of a wonderful book. Since this is a memoir and Claire is a blogger, I will get to do just that. I can pick up from now and follow along with her story.
I highly recommend Rules of Inheritance. We will be discussing it over the next several weeks with the BlogHerBook Club. Please come join in the conversation!
And just in case you are interested... (currently #14)