Constance Maynard is living in a retirement home, but she hasn’t lost the fierce independence that has marked her life. And quite a life it has been, one filled with the kind of professional fulfillment few women were able to achieve when she was a young woman. Her childhood was difficult, but maybe that was really what made her strong enough to do what she needed to do to find her own kind of happiness in a world that expected, nearly demanded, that women be something else entirely from what Constance wanted herself to be. She really finds her freedom through two major events — living with a step-grandmother who has enough wealth to give them both freedom, and taking a research trip to England where an elderly woman gifts her with an unfinished piece of needlework bearing a message Constance finds compelling. She breaks off her engagement with a man most women would find to be perfect, but builds her own life and finds herself unmarried with a child to raise — and that is a story in itself.
If her life story weren’t interesting enough (and it truly is), author Anne Leigh Parrish weaves in the stories of two caregivers at the retirement home — Eunice Fitch and Sam Clark — each on a life mission her own. Eunice may be the best caregiver on the planet. She is simply great with the clientele at the retirement home. She has developed her skills caring for her grandmother, who left her a very nice inheritance. While Eunice is great with old people, she isn’t great with handling money or finding a good man — until she is. Sam is a “big girl,” and that, for much of her life, defines her to herself if not to everyone around her. She also grew up without a father, having been told her father had died when she was two. But the truth is far more intriguing than that.
Frankly, it’s hard to believe this book is not on everyone’s radar. This is a story that will resonate with so many women — women of any age and nearly any background. Anne Leigh Parrish has done a truly spectacular job of bringing these three women, only tangentially connected, together in this sweet and remarkable story. The writing is crisp and yet sometimes quite lyrical. The characters are all fully realized and completely believable. This is a book that deserves wide readership and will be one of those books that will be kept and re-read. This is a real winner.
|Author||Anne Leigh Parrish|
|Page Count||224 pages|
|Publisher||Black Rose Writing|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|