They Left Us Everything

They Left Us Everything

A Memoir

Book - 2016
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"A warm, heartfelt memoir of family, loss, and a house jam-packed with decades of goods and memories. After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents--first for their senile father, and then for their cantankerous ninety-three-year old mother--author Plum Johnson and her three younger brothers have finally fallen to their middle-aged knees with conflicted feelings of grief and relief. Now they must empty and sell the beloved family home, twenty-three rooms bulging with history, antiques, and oxygen tanks. Plum thought: How tough will that be? I know how to buy garbage bags. But the task turns out to be much harder and more rewarding than she ever imagined. Items from childhood trigger difficult memories of her eccentric family growing up in the 1950s and '60s, but unearthing new facts about her parents helps her reconcile those relationships, with a more accepting perspective about who they were and what they valued. They Left Us Everything is a funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving family history to make sense of the past, and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the future"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2016
Edition: First G.P. Putnam's Sons edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780399184093
Characteristics: 279 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm
Call Number: B JOHNSON, P


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Oct 12, 2017

familiar with oakville ontario so trying to place house. good book, read it in 2 days. liked the history of the home and how much work it was to clear to sell. would recommend to read!

Jul 17, 2017

A very pleasant and thoughtful read. Anyone would enjoy this memoir but if you are in your Golden years or are taking care of someone in their Golden years, you will really relate to and enjoy this. It is a wonderful combination of funny, sad and interesting and it will leave you feeling reflective. Good book!

Mar 05, 2017

A poignant, beautifully-written memoir.

sydniec Jan 20, 2017

a touching story set in Oakville, about an old house and the family that loved it. the title reflexs the realization that comes towards the end of the book

Oct 12, 2016

I enjoyed this book because I am presently going through a very similar situation and so many of the incidents described are spot on. I gave it to my 95 year old mother to read and she enjoyed it too just because it is so topical. A good read for anyone facing the gargantuan task of emptying out a family home and sharing the work and the treasures among the siblings.

JudeLee Oct 04, 2016

I loved, loved this book. It made me laugh and cry. The story was so believable and spoke to me. Her writing was superb. It gets my vote for the Evergreen Award.

Sep 06, 2016

After 20 years of caring for her elderly parents, the author feels only frustration and resentment. Although her brothers have helped, they haven't been there for the day-to-day slog. Her father died a few years earlier with Alzheimer's disease and her mother has just quietly died a few weeks after Christmas. Plum's American mother and English father settled in Canada as a compromise after World War II and a few years in Asian countries. Like so many of their Depression-era peers, nothing was ever thrown away. The author thinks it will only take her 6 weeks to clean out a 23-room house that's been occupied since 1952. Instead she embarks on a 16-month journey that includes grief, discovering her parents as people, and coming to terms with her often rocky relationship with her mother.

Aug 01, 2016

A very well written serious, funny, touching, practical and educational memoir.

claire1 Jan 13, 2016

very emotional book about parents not having a will and children having to go thru belongings

dairyqueen Dec 22, 2015

Thoroughly enjoyed this book.
It is both funny and sad. I also enjoyed the stories within the story.

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Nov 04, 2015

"I know why I needed to spend so much time in this wasn't about untangling the stuff - it was about untangling myself from Mum. The clutter wasn't was mine."


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